Sunday, September 28, 2008

Video Killed the Radio Star!

Okay, I’m not really sure how the title fits in but I do kind of like the song…..well….perhaps video will one day kill the teaching star! Will we get to the point where do not need to attend classes or lectures, instead we can log onto our favourite video sharing site and watch our virtual educators in action? Will we be able to teach from home? That would sure solve some classroom management issues wouldn’t it? Hmmm….

Over the past week, You Tube & Teacher Tube are the two major video sharing sites that I explored. I had used both in the past both professionally & recreationally and as I posted in a previous blog, I’ve tinkered with and experimented with these 2 resources and now I’ve added to my repitoire and explored other sites such as Fora.tv, Big Think & Google Video. For a complete listing of video sharing sites, I found the Video Sharing page on Wikipedia to be quite helpful.

Professionally, I have found valuable resources on Teacher Tube especially. From clips on Terry Fox that I’ve used with students, to specific lesson ideas and explanation of concepts from other educators. The resources truly are endless. A few particular videos that I was able to use this past week in school were “A Vision of K-12 Students” and “Did you know 2.0?” both of which I posted on my blog earlier this week. “A Vision of K-12 Students” really captures a lot of what this course is really about. Here we have some amazing tools available but are we using them to engage our students? How do we engage our students? Will we be able to hook them by showing them video clips in the class? How can these video clips get their interest? Are we using videos as more than a simple hook to grab their attention? Can students use video sharing resources in their research & learning? These are all questions that we must ask ourselves as we look at the possibities that video sharing presents. Beyond the viewing of videos, what opportunities are available for the creation and sharing of videos for students. How could this affect the student who is too shy to stand in front of the class for a formal presentation? Could they now video themselves and share their learning with the class or even further, the rest of the world? Another great feature of video sharing is that many sites such as youtube also have the ability to include a blog or comment area to accompany posted videos. This provides the opportunity for others to comment and offer feedback on the posted video.

On his webpage “Creating Lifelong Learners” Mathew Needleman published an article “Why integrate Video Production in the Classroom”. In this article, he hi-lights 5 reasons to integrate video production.
1. Increased student engagement
2. Improved student achievement
3. Use of higher level thinking (blooms taxonomy)
4. Teaching Media Literacy
5. Closing the digital divide

In the past few years, more research is being published that indicates an increase in student achievement and engagement when students are immersed in technology. Needleman cites a website “Project Live in Escondido Unified” (http://apple.com/education/profiles/escondido/) that shows significant student improvement as a result of using videos in the classroom.

Anna Adam & Helen Mowers, in their article “YouTube Comes to the Classroom” School Library Journal 1/1/2007) state that “YouTube provides a platform for students to be content creators, not just content viewers. Just knowing that someone other is listening is enough motivation for them to speak out. It is our job to help students discover their voice…YouTube…along with other web 2.0 tools…can inspire students and support their digital learning style…YouTube…can help our students create content that is relevant and engaging.” The power of having students create using the web is tremendous. Not only are students engaged in their work, from previous experience working with kids creating on the web, they put more effort into their work knowing that their audience is the world, not just their teacher of their classmates.

There has also been the creation of video sharing sites that have a sole academic purpose. Sites such as fora.tv and Big Think are websites that post videos on social, political, technological and academic topics. These sites are unlike YouTube sites where anything under the moon can be posted for any or no purpose at all. Sites such as fora.tv and Big Think have even formed partnerships with colleges and universities throughout the world to post lectures on their sites to reach an even greater audience than those that attend these schools. “YouTube Professors: Scholars as Online Video Stars” by
Jeffery Young published in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Jan 25, 2008 (EBSCOhost) explores how these sites are being used to spread intellectual freedom in more detail if you wish to explore this even further.

My final 2 cents

Those who think sites such as YouTube are just a collection of silly, inappropriate, pirated videos, are sadly mistaken. Video sharing sites are being used more and more for educational purposes both directly and indirectly. The ability to reach millions of people by a few simple clicks is an amazing example of how we can use the tools of Web 2.0 to teach, learn and entertain! Sure there are all the arguments about the thousands of inappropriate videos posted on video sharing sites, but the reality is that these videos make up a small percentage of the content available (a whole separate topic to explore).

So, what have I learned?
1. How to create my own video sharing spot on YouTube.
2. How to upload videos.
3. How to effectively find videos for educational purposes through several sites and use them in the classroom for students and teachers.
4. Video sharing sites are truly useful for education in and outside of the class for formal and informal education!
5. There is every topic imaginable available to explore through video sharing sites.
6. Time flies when you’re exploring video sharing sites!
7. How to promote video sharing within my school.
8. It has reinforced my belief of teaching students ethical use and understanding of the web.

Darryl

2 comments:

Joanne de Groot said...

Hi Darryl,

Great videos...thanks for sharing them! You raise some important issues about the great resources that are available on these video sharing sites for teachers and students. It's great that in your unfiltered school division you are able to share these resources with your students and teachers.

Jes said...

Darryl,
Another video site that I learned about this week is http://www.ted.com/
This seems to be an educational site for acadamics to present their ideas, information, etc. Some of the videos would be suitable for highschool students, but I don't think that you could use them for younger students. It might be worth adding as a videosharing site of interest.