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!


  1. I'm a little bummed out that the embedded videos don't exactly fit on my blog page, but I tried a few times to play with options, and used the smallest setting I could. I suppose it's the blog template itself. Maybe if I were using Weebly...

  2. I was a science teacher and did do Rube Goldberg projects. Your first YouTube find is incredible! I love it. I would absolutely use this.

    You are the first to mention videos not fitting the Blogger window! You might try another template with a wider width. That would be the easiest solution.

    I might try two things: Change the template for your site; a bit dangerous but doable. You can Google a solution to that.

    Or edit the html code for the embedded video. It turns out you can type in your own numbers for the width and height. You will find code by looking for width and height. You want to make it:

    width="425" height="385"

    Note you will find this twice usually in the code for a single video.

  3. Dino, you're my hero! That fixed it. Thanks.

  4. My husband used the Rube Goldberg video to teach a concept to our son's Science Olympiad team.