Channel 21st Century Classroom

7 10 2009

Was it only four short years ago that the world was introduced to what is now the most popular media viewing platform, YouTube?  Indeed, it is hard to imagine what life was like before all the emails being sent from friend to friend with the latest laugh reel on YouTube.  With an endless number af channels to choose from and a production staff from all corners of the world, YouTube is reshaping the media’s world in unimaginable ways.  MTV’s early days could easily be compared to YouTube’s own introduction to the media world.  Both have reshaped the media industry.  However, only YouTube is giving teachers a resource worth using in the classroom.

Teachers are now finding just the exact teachable short clip to full documentary to use with students.  In the past month I have shown numerous clips from YouTube channels.  My students are seeing short five minute clips to help effect the lesson or they are watching hour long pieces that would normally cost me countless dollars to purchase the films.  In the past I might have to search out for licensing rights and public relations folks to access major corporate films.  Now, I can access many Discovery Channel, National Geographic, or PBS series’ to bring in to the classroom.  Every subject across every lesson plan can be enhanced through a simple YouTube search.  Students are even finding ways to spread their message through YouTube.

As students learn to develope and play with new media they are excited to publish their own work.  YouTube is giving students public access channels which in the past might mean huge corporate funding or extensive grant writing.  Today, we can implement student news media networks for free and from any computer.  For my students, this means active engagement in their own learning.  Alternative media is allowing students to network within the school and even throughout the community.  With a small cheap video camera and simple editing tools, students are engaged in the uploading process of YouTube in addition to the countless pieces they watch.

Leadership students in my class are utilizing both YouTube and Facebook to spread the word about homecoming this year.  Here is the first YouTube my students deigned, constructed, and shared with the school and the community.  My role was simply a consultant and advisor.  The rest of the work is their own creation.

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One response

8 10 2009
Michael Wiseman

It is amazing how much YouTube has infiltrated today’s culture and media landscape. Not only is YouTube a source of entertainment for Internet denizens, but it can also be used as a tool in the classroom and in the workplace. Educators and students can create their own channels and content, literally letting the world hear their voice and see their work. I use YouTube at my place of business (television station) as a means of letting clients proof their work. The YouTube channel that I created is http://www.youtube.com/WBIRCommunity . It’s hard to believe that it has only been four years. A neat side-note and nice little piece of Web 2.0 trivial pursuit: What was the first video ever uploaded to YouTube? The first video on YouTube was uploaded at 8:27PM on Saturday April 23rd, 2005. The video was shot by Yakov Lapitsky at the San Diego Zoo.

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