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Using You Tube to learn May 1, 2008

Posted by davidit in Uncategorized.

I have just had one of those completely unscripted ‘aha!’ moments that affirm exactly what you think and are trying to achieve. I am at home with my children as it is the tail end of the school holidays here and we have been inside today because of the rain, although the sun is shining now and so it is time to go out and get some fresh air, but before we do I need to share this.

As you will have read in earlier posts I am convinced of the importance of using You Tube as a teaching tool. Well crafted, well paced video lessons have a place on You Tube and by extension in our classrooms, to aid teachers and students alike. The video tutorial can not replace the teacher, but the 10 minute gobbet sized format can assist in learning and re-enforcing skills learning. My Excel lesson enabling someone in the US to gain a job should be proof enough of the potential of You Tube to help learners to learn new skills.

On the Supertanker I have seen teachers use the screen record function in Smart Notebook to record letter formation for new entrant students. This video was then put on loop cycle and repeated to the class as a whole lesson, via the data projector and Smart Board. However, if a video were submitted to You Tube of the same lesson, students could watch this same skill lesson over and over again and not just in one class but many. Not only that, individual work or group work around a workstation could use the same video to enable students to re-visit the same set of skills, freeing the teacher to work with another group.

So do students use You Tube to learn of their own volition? Well I discovered one of my daughters doing just that a few moments ago. Not a very scientific study, but evidence none the less that students regard You Tube content as being a legitimate source for learning materials. I believe that the visual nature of the video and its repeatability are the key factors. Making learning relevant and making the sources of learning relevant to students is one of the major impediments to student engagement n C21 classrooms. By simply repackaging a learning format into one that is seen as relevant to students seems to me to be one more way of maintaining engagement in the classroom. The video tutorial is one strand in a new armoury that we as teachers need to equip ourselves with to engage the C21 learners in our classes.

And, yes that is a Mac she is using, we have pc’s, Macs and open source machines at home, no favourites, just tools.



1. Marnie - May 1, 2008

Cool clip! Does she know she is on the internet? One thing that may be even more effective than teachers creating videos is having the children teach the concept on video – they can usually explain it in kiddy language really well and it would enhance their own understanding by having to teach it. Could work well in oral language programmes…

2. davidit - May 1, 2008

Marnie, I do think that there is a place for students to make their own videos, however, until we can create more breathing space in our crowded classroom curriculum’s to allow for this kind of activity, I suspect that it will be the teachers who create the resources in first instance. However if the students did create such resources, it would be yet another purposeful relevance to their learning. Not only that, the student training videos they produce would be a great assessment resource.

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