Tech Task #9: Youtube- more than just Cat videos

Photo Credit: Viktor Hertz via Compfight cc

Youtube is well known for being the best place to watch hilarious cat videos that will instantly make you smile. Although this is one of the reasons I love it, it is just one of the many. I probably use it half the time for entertainment purposes and half the time for educational purposes. Youtube has statistics many companies would dream for: having 24 hours of video time every minute, 2 billion views per day, and that Google had purchased Youtube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. With these kind of numbers backing it up, its not hard to believe how useful of a resource this could be for teachers. Probably half of all my lesson plans contain Youtube clips that help students learn the concepts in a different way. I’ve used it teaching microscopes, decimals/percents, and as brain breaks.

Not only are they great for getting concepts across for younger students, I still use Youtube in University today to understand some of the difficult chemistry topics. There is many professors who post videos explaining almost every topic . These are nice because you are able to pause the video and learn at a slower pace if needed. Although you have to keep in mind, some of the content of videos isn’t monitored and therefore may not be 100% accurate, if you look at the number of views (higher views=usually more reliable) and take everything with a grain of salt it can be used as a strong resource. One of the best channels, which I have used in both high school and university, is the Khan Academy. Khan academy is a non-profit organization that provides free education for over 50 subjects; furthermore, the founder Salman Khan is a graduate MIT and Harvard Business School and has even talked on TED talks. All of the Khan Academy’s videos are posted on Youtube and my first choice of resource for then I need help understanding things.

Although Youtube, as a resource, risks validity, the benefits of using it in the classroom much outweigh this small risk. So long as teachers are watching the video before they play it for the class, that risk is lessened. Giving students the opportunity to see and visualize things they normally wouldn’t have been able to see is a great benefit to using Youtube in the classroom. There are tons of lists on Google about how teachers can use Youtube in their classroom which only further proves how useful it is. I would even argue it is a better resource for learning than Twitter is… :O

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