Eight reasons to use YouTube in school

youtube1.jpgNot a week goes by without one of my colleagues asking me how to show a YouTube video in class. Because of it’s history of inappropriate content, ranging from pointless to tasteless, YouTube has been blocked in schools across the nation. However, the same content filters that are supposed to be blocking the bad sites are preventing “…teachers from accessing cutting-edge widgets and digital materials that have enormous potential for expanding learning.” [1]

I think it’s time for schools to take another look at YouTube’s use in the classroom.  Here are a few reasons why we should let YouTube into our schools:

  1. viewing is easy: there are a lot of video sharing websites out there, but YouTube makes the experience simple and seamless
  2. uploading is easy: posting videos to YouTube is incredibly easy, no need to worry about file formats and frame rates
  3. great content: sure there are dogs on skateboards but YouTube also hosts an impressive amount of top-notch material
  4. it’s become mainstream: From Barack Obama’s weekly addresses to videos from Britian’s Royal Family– everyone is using YouTube
  5. inspires creativity: as the the premiere site for user generated video, YouTube demonstrates the creativity that the world has to offer
  6. learn from feedback: learning doesn’t just stop after a video is posted, a steady stream of comments on your video can provide more opportunities to learn
  7. gives people a voice: tools like YouTube, “…make it easier than ever for people to make a difference and become civically engaged” [2]
  8. the real problem still exists: blocking YouTube doesn’t stop inappropriate video from being circulated in school via cellphones, email or other video sharing web sites

3 thoughts on “Eight reasons to use YouTube in school

  1. I agree with this post entirely. I think it’s a larger conversation about social media in general. Things got off on the wrong foot with MySpace and YouTube in the early days with a lot of negative buzz, but this does not mean they should be banned today. As a PR firm we run into the same issues with corporations banning social media outlets such as facebook and Twitter. It can feel like an uphill battle at times.

  2. I agree with you in principle, but there is a huge BUT. The problem is really that you can’t separate the inappropriate from the appropriate material. While I’m showing an educational video, off to the side are several inappropriate ones, with pictures. It’s hard to get around that. Also, showing a live video can slow down the network and put pauses in your video. The best solution, I think, is to unblock YouTube from the teacher’s computers only and have the teachers download the video before they show it.

  3. Research public performance rights. Check with your district lawyers. Just because the content is easily available does’nt give you the right to show it iin the classroom. The district, teacher, tech department would all be liable. You need written approval from the producer to show the digital content.
    Your stealing.

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