04 April 2010
Thing 13: My Very Good Friend, YouTube
Why did I start my post with this video? Two reasons. First, because I think it's pretty much the coolest thing on YouTube; and second, because it's a prime example of how I typically use YouTube - for things that are goofy and entertaining. I suppose in this particular instance, I could make the argument that were I a science teacher or robotics coach or something like that, this could have all kinds of practical and professional applications, but the truth is, in my English classes, it really doesn't. Most of the time I search visit YouTube, it's because I'm looking for a funny video or following a link that my brother or sister sent me. I don't think I'm alone on this one. I mean, haven't we all laughed at that kid coming home from the dentist? And the reel of sports mascots' bloopers? That's good stuff.
But I do see the possibilities for the classroom, and I take advantage whenever I can. Just last week, I used a clip of a documentary about Louis Armstrong in my introduction to my Harlem Renaissance unit. There are a lot of great videos that can fit into literature and history lessons available online. I also like that so many students who've been assigned video projects post them to YouTube, and when they're good, I like to share them with students. Sometimes I even share them when they're bad - it can be a great exercise to have students identify the factual errors in bad presentations. This project, however, is a good one:
TeacherTube and SchoolTube are new to me, but they look like great resources. I already lost a good half hour just checking some stuff out on it, and bookmarked them so I remember to return later on. I'm very excited about some of that, but need to stay focused!