I was delighted with my first experience with YouTube in the classroom. A middle school french teacher has started playing with YouTube for the first time, building a set of video playlists for her classes. She is finding the historical collections quite impressive. I am finding that the sharing and presentation tools fit nicely with best practices for using video in the classroom. The videos are short and have tight topical focus. With a laptop connected to a data projector, it is possible to integrate one or many clips into a variety of classroom activities without taking over the entire class agenda. A teacher can build a playlist of short clips in advance and have a more nimble presentation than jumping around a DVD while students are waiting. The embed code is terrific for including YouTube videos or entire playlists into a course web site such as Moodle. (Enable object code embedding in your Moodle admin preferences.) Students may include the Flash Player-enabled movies as well in forum or wiki posts (I think — yet to test). All this doesn’t take up any of our web server disk space or require a long transfer time to include in student or teacher work! I will write up a post on our internal newsletter in the hope that some other faculty members will like to investigate this opportunity.
The same playlist embedded in this blog post:
We have a couple of other video initiatives in the works for next year. I wonder which one or more will emerge as the most useful and stick around? I want to install a TiVo recorder and DVD burner in the library so that teachers may schedule the recording of broadcast documentaries and other television shows. Our chief middle school technology enthusiast has drummed up support for United Streaming, which is in wide use among independent schools.