Eight reasons to keep YouTube out of schools

noyoutube.jpgFrequently, 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:

  1. 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.
  2. students waste time: YouTube is the ultimate playground for procrastinators. Students can waste class period after class period wandering through videos.
  3. 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.
  4. sucks up bandwidth: with everyone in the school browsing through video after video, network speeds at you school will come to a crawl.
  5. inappropriate material: everything from pointless to tasteless- much of YouTube is not appropriate for school
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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?

3 thoughts on “Eight reasons to keep YouTube out of schools

  1. Dale –

    I see where you’re coming from on both of your posts. I like what our school district does – it blocks YouTube but teachers can override it to show a particularly good, educational video if we so choose (and yes – despite common grumblings, there’s plenty of quality stuff on YouTube along with everything else that doesn’t even approach that categorization). The downside is that when my students find a really good vid to embed in their social issues blogs, I have to unblock it for them, and even then it usually won’t show in their blog behind the school filter (meaning I’ll have to watch/grade this post at home if I want to see if the vid enhances the post and the content). What I really wish is that YouTube (heck many sites — including Morguefiles, etc.) would somehow structure their site so that content could be filtered based on appropriateness to the educational setting. You can’t tell me in this day and age that owners of major sites such as YouTube can’t do a better job at this for us. Right now everything is on the consumer’s shoulders, but I’d like to see online services step up to the plate and offer some differentiation for school users. Course, I’m sure that’d cost them, wouldn’t it….then cost us.

  2. #1 – Teachers should teach fair use and copyright. The resource you provided over at Meyer’s blog is a good start. So is the Temple University Media Lab (I’m too tired to hyperlink…does that make me a bad commenter?).

    #2 – Role and purpose of the use of laptops. Oh, and teachers have feet. Teachers have this amazing skill, the ability to ambulate. Too many don’t use it. A management issue here.

    #3 (and by the end of this, #4)- I don’t know about ‘must – see’ videos, but a co-worker told me about ‘must – see’ tv. My Thursday nights have never been better. Adhering to a district AUP is a professional obligation.

    #5 “much of You Tube is not appropriate for school” – I’m troubled by that. I just spent the last two weeks witnessing students using appropriate material posted on You Tube…and citing appropriately…and looking for other videos if use wasn’t ethical or within fair use guidelines. But I also saw students using United Streaming and Safari Montage, two quality video spots. They cost some coin.

    #6 – True! The video of my four-year old at quote-soccer-end quote is no longer available. Of some coincidence, one day later, my son asked not to go back to soccer. Odd.

    #7 – Hasn’t happened yet (to me)…but I saw that one, the one about that guy, Matt, the one who travels all around the world and does that weird dance. Yeah, well now I chew Stride gum, and I don’t see myself ever stopping. So I think there’s some validity here to #7.

    #8 – Yes, yes, and yes, but again, the decision to use video as a part of the learning experience is something that the teacher can/should control. An open ‘hey, go search for a video on You Tube’ is quite an irresponsible approach to ‘inquiry-based learning’.

    I think you have valid points…points that are worthy of inclusion in what our district likes to call ‘courageous conversations’. Thanks.

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