“Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies.” – Robert Kennedy
Have you ever met up with your girlfriends for dinner, and some one brings a stranger that you have never met before. At first, you look at the stranger and think, “This person doesn’t seem like some one we would hang out with. Why would ___bring this person?” By the end of the night, the tag-a-long becomes your new best friend. That is kind of like using YouTube for educational purposes for the first time.
I began using YouTube to upload and save videos of my students and their projects so I could post them on my blog. However, once teachers in my school were allowed access to YouTube as an educational portal I started looking at it in an entirely new light and by the end of one teacher work day, we were best friends.
At this point some of you may be thinking, “YouTube is an epicenter for waisting time and inappropriate language.” Well, in some cases you’re right. When I showed my first educational video via YouTube, one of my students whispered to me, “Mrs. B, YouTube has a lot of bad words on it. I don’t know if we should watch it.” I smiled to myself knowing that what my young pupil didn’t know was that I already had to be super careful to enlarge the video before displaying it on my Smarboard because of inappropriate related video titles to the side. (I may be a new YouTube user, but I am not dumb young Padawan)
Above, you will find the first YouTube video I used to review our studies on causes of the American Revolution and as a hook to launch the actual battles of the American Revolution. This spring boarded A LOT of questions and comments and cheers of, “Can we watch that again?!?!?!” Wow! Engagement in the classroom at its best. What is even more entertaining is the fact that some of my kids made their parents watch it at home that night as well.
That started my “out of the box” YouTube thinking. What did I see on TV or on YouTube that would engage my students or make them think about something in a new way. I used the following within the next two weeks of class after my first initial video….
To teach about finding VALID information on the internet…..
To review using the element of personification to engage an audience…..
All of these were huge hits in my classroom, engaged my learners in a new way, and caused on task conversations about topics we were studying.
Once you know the few “Educational YouTube Rules”, the world of YouTube is your oyster and it is chocked full of fantastic material. The fastest way to find the type of video you want is to use the YouTube search bar and use specific keywords. For example, if I want to find a video on Lewis and Clark I would search “Lewis and Clark history”. This brings up many different videos for you to explore.
You can also follow certain pages and users such as TED Education and my favorite CrashCourse. Crash Course consists of tons of lessons on Science and Social Studies, but be careful because everything covered may not be appropriate to students under the age of 14. You are also welcome to follow me on YouTube. I have learned how to create my own educational videos for my students to watch in class and post them upon completion.
Now, it’s your turn. How can you use YouTube to engage students today!?!?! How will you make the world more AWESOME? What will your future look like?
Educational YouTube Rules:
1) Always watch an entire video prior to playing it for the class.
2) Check videos and links around a video you intend to play, they may be inappropriate. You can make the video you want to play take up the entire screen before you uncover your projector.
3) Play snippets of videos that will catch the students’ attention. YouTube is NOT a babysitter!
4) Make sure you are in charge of the YouTube and not your students, even if you trust your kiddos a lot.
5) Have fun and think outside of the box! If you are bored by a video clip, your students probably are too!
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