YouTube has been blocked so long for some many teachers that I think we sometimes forget that it’s still there. If you’re one of the lucky ones who teach in a building where YouTube is not blocked, don’t ever leave.
But if you’re one of the unlucky ones who work in an environment where the tech folks guard Internet access like nuclear launch codes, there’s hope.
YouTube recently created a channel designed specifically for educators. It’s pretty good. And . . . it just might be good enough for the gatekeepers to unblock.
This site is a resource for educators everywhere to learn how to use YouTube as an educational tool. There are lesson plan suggestions, highlights of great educational content on YouTube and training on how to film your own educational videos.
This site was written by teachers for teachers and it seems as if YouTube wants to continue that spirit of community-involvement. They’re creating a new YouTube newsletter for teachers and are asking teachers to submit their favorite YouTube playlists to highlight on YouTube EDU.
The first thing you see is a collection of video clips and teaching ideas:
Spark Lively Discussion: Engage students by showing a video relevant to their lives. Video clips can bring in different perspectives or force students to consider a new viewpoint, helping to spark a discussion.
Organize all the great video content you find: Playlists are YouTube’s way of allowing you to organize videos on the site. When one video ends, the playlist plays the next video without offering ‘related videos,’ thus creating a curated environment for you students.
Archive your work: Capture and save projects and discussions so you can refer back to them year after year. This will also help you save time as you can assign old videos to your new students.
Allow students to dig deeper into a subject: Give students the option to dig deeper into a subject by creating a playlist of videos related to that concept. By creating playlists of relevant videos you allow students to pursue their interests without wasting their time searching for information (or finding potentially objectionable content).
Get struggling students to speed up and push strong students ahead: Videos (or playlists) can help supplement in class teaching for struggling students. Students can review them at home time so you’re not forced to teacher exclusively to the middle 50%.
Review for upcoming exams: Turn test review and flashcards into easy-to-watch videos. This way students can hear your explanations as they study. You can also create a “test review” video students can use to study the night before the big test.
Create a YouTube center in your classroom: When working in stations or centers, have students use your YouTube channel to complete an assignment, freeing you upto work with small groups of students.
Create quizzes to accompany videos for instant feedback: Create a Google Form that students complete after watching a video. You can use this quiz to get instant feedback on what they’re learning.
Create Interactive Video Quests: Use YouTube annotations to create “Choose your own adventure” style video quests. You can also create a video guide.
Flip your classroom: If your students watch a video of the basic concepts at home you can focus in class on applying those concepts, working collaboratively with their classmates rather than simply listening to you lecture.
It’s not a perfect system yet but it’s a start. And be sure to check out these other useful YouTube channels appropriate for teachers. Who knows? Maybe the tech people will finally see some of the benefits of online video!
Smithsonian Videos: The beloved museum’s official channel mostly serves as a hub for its other offerings, but still hosts its own series of videos covering everything from biology to art.
Discovery Channel: Explore a nice variety of subjects through this channel.
PBS: Public broadcasting opens up viewers’ minds to the wide range of wonders the world has to offer, particularly when it comes to current events, the arts and science.
National Geographic: History, anthropology, science, archaeology, psychology, art, sociology and other topics collide into one incredibly valuable, intelligent and highly educational resource.
Edutopia: This organization devotes its resources to promote multimedia, interactive and online learning in classrooms worldwide, making it a wonderful channel for tech-savvy (and not so tech-savvy) teachers.
Associated Press: Stay on top of the current events impacting today’s world. Associated Press covers both domestic and international stories.
The White House: Follow this YouTube channel for the latest developments in American politics.
Library of Congress: Most of the videos and lectures presented by the Library of Congress involve film, books and American history.
100 Incredible YouTube Channels for History Buffs: Not all of these are actual channels but you will find some awesome history stuff here