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Univeristy of YouTube

January 31, 2016
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It was while I was participating in a photography workshop given by the talented and largely self-taught Steven Ashworth that I was introduced to the idea of the ‘University of YouTube’.

If you want to find out how to do something a YouTube search is very likely to reveal a substantial list of video tutorials. After watching two or three of them your understanding of the situation will have increased, as will the chance of success in whatever you are trying to do. A search for ‘change headlight bulb Skoda Octavia’ limited to content uploaded in the last year lists about 1940 results. My mother (not a digital native but handy with her iPad) helped my father mend the lawnmower by finding him a YouTube clip detailing fixing the particular broken piece on the specific model he had in front of him.

How can we use the ‘Univeristy of YouTube’ in our teaching?

All Ecolint students (and staff) have their own YouTube accounts so why not encourage students to create material? Could a student produced video explaining how to do something or explaining why something happened be a suitable assessment outcome? Can we help encourage students to create content that will support the learning of others while creating materials that contribute to our students’ positive digital footprint?

This ‘homemade’ video on French verb conjugation has been viewed nearly 68000 times.

I believe that the use of the ‘University of YouTube’ doesn’t just have to be based around student produced video. How about getting students to evaluate the work of others? A collaboratively produced rubric could be used to evaluate existing videos found online. Could feedback be left online by the students in a supportive and constructive manner without resorting to trolling?

How could a class approach evaluating this teacher/adult produced video on World War 1 (in 6 minutes)?

How could the ‘University of YouTube’ help address ‘Technology for Learning Framework’ standards?

YouTube is a digital social network so there is a strong link to the Communication skills standard: Participate in, and contribute to, digital social media networks. Should a teaching activity include the leaving of feedback online in the comment sections of a video then the affective skills standard: Discuss positive behaviours that support collaboration and community could definitive feature.

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