February Online Tool Favorites 2014!

“Have you seen the video where…” How many times have you heard this? Unless you live in a cave, and even if you do, I’m positive you heard this at least once. If people talk about only a small part of videos they watch, imagine how much time they spend watching videos. YouTube is now a staple in most people’s lives. It is there to watch movie trailers, cat videos, vine compilations, music videos and to find out how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew. Of course, those are the most common uses one can think of with using YouTube, but can it be used in education?

I’m convinced that it can be a great tool to use with students. There is, of course the traditional way of using YouTube in class, which is showing students an informational video about a subject or another. This is a very good way to get their attention (every child and teenager likes videos) and to teach them things about animals for example, or about a historical figure. Certain schools in Indiana have even implemented what they call “the flipped classroom” in which the teachers film important parts of their classes for students to watch at home and have them do their homework in class (http://indianapublicmedia.org/stateimpact/2011/10/12/how-youtube-is-changing-the-classroom/). When they do their homework the teacher is present to answer questions. Now i’m not saying every class everywhere should do this, but it is an example of how YouTube can be used effectively in the classroom.

Another way I could find to use YouTube would be to create playlists on a teacher’s account and have the playlists pertain to different subjects. (http://www.edudemic.com/youtube-in-classroom/) These playlists can be assigned as resources for homework. Also, by having a YouTube channel as a teacher and having students follow it, it allows the teacher to put in videos of important parts of class before exams for reviewing. It also allows them to say, make a video explaining a project and giving them links on where they can start their research. Everything is at the same place and it is an easy reference to get back to. The comments section can be a good resource for the students too, students can ask questions and either the teacher or others students can answer. It can become a good place for students who are having a more difficult time with their homework.

For research projects, YouTube can teach students how to use keywords effectively and will test their ability to concentrate on the task at hand. Because YouTube has so much content on it, most of it not being relevant to class, it is important for students to learn how to concentrate. I wouldn’t use YouTube in this way with younger children because not everything on YouTube is appropriate.

There are many resources for teachers to find instructive videos to show their students like https://sites.google.com/site/mistersill/google-goodness/youtube-in-the-classroom On this website there are many videos. From how to tie a show all the way to tools for teachers. Websites like these are abundant on the internet. On YouTube there are many channels for ESL teachers. I searched a little and found many videos and channels that look really instructive, I’d never thought of looking up teaching on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/user/eslteachersgoldmine This channel for example, looks like a good resource for activities and classroom management tips. In the comment section, teachers can contribute their own ideas and read ideas of others. I think YouTube is a good way to help teachers evolve as educators.

I think that YouTube is a really good tool to use in class. It can be used for so many things and I think students appreciate having videos either at home or in class. It makes class more varied and interesting for them. For teachers, there are so many things to discover and learn about other teachers all over the world and their techniques. Plus, there are some really good cat videos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbP2N1BQdYc

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