Youtube is valuable aid in the modern classroom. I find it hard to believe that many schools ban it. Basically, it encompasses a world of ideas, presentations, talks, songs, and films. At a rate of about 600 uploaded videos per minute it is an ever-increasing resource.
Like all aspects of the information explosion it contains a lot of rubbish, and within that rubbish are offensive and disturbing material that we would never want our children to see.
It has though much that can be used by them, shown to them, explored by them.
A few days ago I went into a secondary classroom to meet “The Outsiderz”, a group of 15 year old pupils who see the world in their own way. As I walked in I saw a Youtube video was playing. It was a rapper who was singing about his friend who was in jail and, according to the young man who had put the video on, “had been framed for murder”.
I was there to talk to them about starting a blog for their group. This gave me the ideal opportunity to start. I told them that they could put a YouTube video into their blog. They could talk about it, write about and that others, from across the whole of our global village, could read what they had to say.
The school had taken the brave step of allowing YouTube in and the pupils were able to relate to their interests. The teacher of the class spoke about how good YouTube was. She said that it had a lot of videos that they used for teaching in English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography… the list is almost endless.
Based on this experience I felt that I had to write, yet again, to say that all schools should embrace the resource that is YouTube, but with the warning that it comes with the need to discuss appropriate use with their pupils which schools should be undertaking anyway as a part of their wider education in the digital age that we now all live in.
- YouTube should be available in schools (malbell.wordpress.com)