Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tube Time . . .

I cannot believe that You Tube is younger than my prep students! You Tube has proven to be such a popular video-sharing service since it started in 2005, that Google acquired it only a year and a half later! (Teacher Tube is even younger, starting up in 2007.) Where would our uni presentations be without them?!

You Tube videos have a wide range of purposes - educational, instructional, promotional, personal, comedic, animated, real life. Anyone can now have their 15 minutes of fame.

What is the purpose of using video in the classroom - is it to instruct, to inform or to engage? It may be one or all of these - but, we must keep the "natives" in mind. It is up to us to make the learning experiences worthy of their attention (Prensky, 2001, p3).

As a learning activity, video can be used to introduce a topic and generate interest in the content to be delivered or investigated. The following You Tube clip introduces the insect world and could be used as a starting point for a unit on Minibeasts, or as a means of introducing insects as part of food and life cycles (pollenators, decomposers, predators).
(Unfortunately the whole series of Small Talk Diaries is not available,
but there are selected clips on
You Tube)

I find You Tube more user friendly than Teacher Tube. I know from university presentations that Teacher Tube videos take a while to "buffer". Even when trying to view video for this activity, I became frustrated and "enraged" at the length of time that it would take to view the videos (what not to do in a classroom of "natives"). This is opposed to You Tube which requires Flash player, making the videos stream less slowly. (Educause, 2006)

While I find videos that I know would engage my students, I am finding it difficult to use in a classroom that only contains two very old computers. A way to get around it could be to view the You Tube clip in small groups, instead of using it as a means of whole class instruction. Food for thought . . .

Educause Learning Initiative (2006) 7 things you should know about . . . you tube. Downloaded August, 2009 from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7018.pdf

Prensky, M (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Downloaded July 2009 from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf


  1. Hi Jane,
    Good idea to view You Tube clips in small groups, rather than wholeclass instruction when outdated computers are the only resource.

  2. Thanks Andrew - I sometimes find it hard to find ways to use these technologies in a classroom that does not have the equipment. I also have to get my head around how it may be used, not only for the prep students that I have now, but for future applications for different age cohorts.
    All part of negotiating the bumpy path of the road less travelled . . .