Wednesday, August 19, 2009

YouTube – Reel me in Teacher!!

I could spend so many hours watching the vast amount of videos on YouTube. Some are funny, comical, instructional, educational, music clips and the list goes on. It seems that absolutely anyone can get their face seen on this site. I have included a clip I used with my year 7 class.

I have used YouTube in one of my previous year 7 classes. After I used a YouTube clip once and found how engaged the students were, I sought to use it much over the term. The classroom only had one computer in the room that worked and was very slow, so I always downloaded the clip and put it on a DVD to use the class TV. I have recently found the site KeepVid which allows you to download these types of video streaming a lot easier. The clip I have embedded in this blog was used as a hook for a lesson on concept maps. I was teaching the students how to write information reports. It was a great way to hook the students into something that, to them, was not very exciting. I showed the clip on the cute dogs and cats sleeping and then asked the students to, in groups of three, create a concept map brainstorming ideas about cats and dogs the for an information report. Now the clip had nothing to do with their assignment (on world economies and global charity organizations) but provided them with content for a “lighter” practice before diving in with their own assignment.

The problem I have found with YouTube is that the content can be downloaded by anyone, even the 12 year olds in my class. I know a lot of content on YouTube is not for their eyes. Even the clip I have used, though the ending was not as inappropriate as some, I edited out the last 20 seconds to keep the clip relevant for the task. The clip you see here is the whole version before I have edited it. I was not able to access YouTube at the EQ School I was at. It was a protective measure set up by the school to stop any inappropriate material being seen by the students. For future use, I could continue to download the clips I want before the lesson or just as in the courseware I could embed the clips I want the students to see in a student safe site and one that is accessible at school.

I can see how YouTube is engaging for the “digital natives”. Prensky (2001) says Digital Natives are used to receiving their information really fast, they prefer their graphics before their text. Oliver’s (1999) Learning Design Construct enforces that content or resources learners interact with comes first, then the required activities, then the support mechanisms. Therefore, as the learning managers we need to use tools such as YouTube to hook the students in before throwing information and report templates at them. They will respond much more enthusiastically if we use tools that keep up with their pace.

Til next time,



Oliver, R. (1999). The Learning Design Construct: Retrieved August 19th, 2009, from

Prensky, M (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved August 19th, 2009, from,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

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