Frequently, I hear teachers yearn for access to YouTube in their classroom. Yet, I question if this really is a good idea. Below are eight things we need to worry about if YouTube is allowed in the classroom:
- copyright infringement: it’s so easy to get videos that were posted to YouTube illegally. You can’t expect students to do their own work when you showed them a pirated video yesterday. However, I am afraid that the temptation will be too great for many teachers.
- students waste time: YouTube is the ultimate playground for procrastinators. Students can waste class period after class period wandering through videos.
- teachers waste time: like we’re any better- have you even been emailed that “must-see” video? Now imagine this stuff streaming into you classroom.
- sucks up bandwidth: with everyone in the school browsing through video after video, network speeds at you school will come to a crawl.
- inappropriate material: everything from pointless to tasteless- much of YouTube is not appropriate for school
- here today, gone tomorrow: not all the videos on YouTube stick around forever- you might send students off on a wild goose chase that leads them to videos that you weren’t expecting
- spam and scam: spammers and scammers are posting video all over YouTube to entice people to click over to a website that may contain viruses, malware or worse
- lies, lies and more lies: 9/11 conspiracies, miracle water, the real truth about the Holocaust- anyone can make a high quality and convincing video for YouTube that can fill your students’ heads with lies
So given all the good that YouTube can offer, how do we deal with the obstacles listed above?