Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The YouTube Delimma

YouTube is a video sharing website with an estimated 77.3 million videos. Many of the videos have educational value, so why is YouTube and others sites like it blocked in many schools? This is a complicated issue. Perhaps the reason the video sites are not allowed in schools the content of some of the videos. A recent video was posted showing six teen girls beating another teen girl. Don't blame YouTube, MySpace for teen beating video discusses this video. Do videos like this promote violence or can this video be used as a teaching tool? In the article YouTube course is a class act, Stuart King says: "After all, one of the jobs of a teacher is to help kids make sense of the world they live in."

Should we let a few bad videos deprive educators of such a great resource. Using videos in the classroom can lead to students creating their own videos. Research, understanding and narrative skills are developed when making videos. Tapping into the Wild Wild Web: Lights, Camera. Learning discusses these skills. There are many videos on YouTube that have educational value. Video tutorials and videos about history, science, math just to name a few are found on YouTube. There are videos on almost any topic imaginable. This makes YouTube a very valuable and must have resource for the educator.

With all this to offer you would think that YouTube would not only be allowed, but promoted by those in charge. YouTube prohibits
uploading of videos containing pornography, nudity, defamation, harassment, commercial advertisements and material encouraging criminal conduct. However is difficult to enforce. Just the chance of innappropriate material has caused video sites to be blocked. An alternative to YouTube in the classroom is TeacherTube which is for teachers and by teachers. I have found this site to contain most of the educational benifits with less risk.

What do you think? Are the rewards worth the risk?


J Saxon said...

I definitely think that the risk is worth the reward. The students have access to everything once the school day is over, so it seems detrimental to ignore that part of their world. If we want students to grow, then it is responsibility we should be stressing, and YouTube seems like a great place to practice that. Plus, there are some extremely valuable sources for any and all topics.

Craig said...

In the past we blocked YouTube on the school computers. We unblocked it by relating it to our 21st century skills initiatives. The suggestion was that it was more appropriate for us to model the appropriate use of the service and then benefit from all the resources that are available on it then to simply sensor it at school. The children have access to it at home in most cases and it would be better to teach them to use it responsibly then to just ignore it.