We all know about YouTube - we have all used it at some point in time. However, using this tool in the classroom ranges from easy to difficult. There are many factors in using YouTube, these include:
- school's internet speed
- availability of projectors
- availability of computers
- teacher time in researching for appropriate material
- safety of students
In my school, if our entire class logged on to YoTtube and tried to watch a clip each - the internet would probably collapse. I am sure that in other schools, this is not the case, and that would be great, but I have to use this tool on a projector (lucky we have one) and show the entire class at once. The download time is a huge factor, I recently had to give up my lunch break (I'm sure that won't be the last time!) just to make sure a 47 second YouTube clip was ready for the class. It takes time for a teacher to find material, which I am sure that some teachers' don't have. Of course though, the number one factor with YouTube is safety. YouTube is a site that anyone can put clips onto, and these can then be seen by anyone - including our students. It would be an excellent idea to send your class home with homework to find a clip on this site that relates to the current unit and share it with the class. But - you have no idea what they may stumble on in their search - a truly engaging task. TeacherTube provides more safety, but I personally am still apprehensive about even this.
I recently used the following clip to 'hook' my students into a topic on earthquakes. Pardon the corny music, but they loved it! I embedded this hyperlink into the power point, and will definitely use it in the future. The engaging nature of YouTube makes this a great tool, but it is a rather large minefield, that I am sure will not be accessible through school networks for much longer. This is where programs like keepvid come in handy to download and save clips from home and use them in the classroom - a much safer option.