YouTube is a brilliant and free resource for teachers. Even if it is blocked in your school, you can still incorporate it into your teaching as the students can access it from home. Here are some ideas on how to use YouTube, and how to utilise it to engage students with learning.
1- At the beginning of the year ask your learners to create a ‘getting to know you’ play list of things that they like. The URL for this can then be uploaded to the VLE for others to see. You don’t have to listen to it (all) but casting your eye over their preferences and choices gives you an insight into their personality, and can help to create positive teacher/pupil relationships.
2- YouTube can provide many brilliant teaching opportunities aside from just playing the class media content. Today I asked my class to chose three songs each that exemplified modern British society. The class then had three votes each to choose their top ten songs, votes which were counted using pen dots. The top ten songs will be put on a class playlist and then used as starter activities in following lessons linked to big thematic issues of gender and ethnicity. My class loved the idea of creating a playlist as a shared endeavour, and some serious debate went on as to why a song should be put forward. This is the suggestions here:
And the final voted upon playlist:
I think this activity could be adapted for subject and age group. I will create the playlist tonight and email them all a link to their first piece of creative work.
3- In the same way that students can use Pinterest as a visual search engine and storage, you can use YouTube playlists for media content driven research. This need not be songs or music, there is a substantial body of academic material on there as well.
4- You can encourage your learners to subscribe to appropriate academic channels that will advance their learning. I have found that this works particularly well as extension tasks, or stretch and challenge activities.
5- I have created a department YouTube channel that showcases the amazing work created/achieved (didn’t like ‘done) in lessons, with some interviews from students. This is really effective in building up their confidence as it can reward effort, but can also be used on open evenings or taster days to market your course or institution. I also have playlists of lesson intro music, which I start every lesson with to mark the start of lessons and give my classes a distinct identity. See here for more detail: http://wp.me/p3NZQp-11
6- Many of my students make media content, upload it to YouTube and then submit it to me as digital homework. The ethos of this is by allowing learners more choice they will take increased ownership of their learning, and homework hand in rates will, and did, go up.
7-When students generate their own content you can then make further use of it in programmes such as ThingLink or ExplainEverything to add a further dimension of depth to their knowledge. This encourages reflective learning, and can be done by relating the work to other media content or by creating a narration.
8- There are some great videos on YouTube that can be used as stand alone starters. What about this footage by Unknown Camera man inside an abandoned asylum as a creative writing prompt? http://youtu.be/fii99coWGvc or this Dan Pink TED talk to puzzle over motivation? http://youtu.be/rrkrvAUbU9Y
9- YouTube can also be used as a repository for student digital work. Learners can set up their own channels, and then save projects there with the added value of attracting public feedback, which in turn raises the standard of their work. This saved work can also be used on class blogs if you have one.
10- Set five questions linked to a short YouTube clip. Ask your students to take notes, then self and peer mark for spelling and grammar. You can also role model note-taking by sharing a pre-made answer to further develop their note taking and literacy skills.
So ten easy ideas for using YouTube. If it is blocked in your school you might want to try looking at vimeo.com , dailymotion.com , watchdocumentary.org, metacafe.com, and googlevideo.com. Of course you should watch any video you intend to show your class first and be vigilant over potentially inappropriate content. I would love to hear if anyone else has any great ideas on how to use these type of platforms to enhance learning.
Title image credit: http://www.123rf.com/photo_14740384_3d-illustration-of-youtube-concept-on-computer-screen.html