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Using YouTube to enrich the learning experience

This was originally posted by Simon Evans 25 June 2012. This is cross-posted as part of the transition of Software for Learning to Enabling e-Learning.

Education using multimedia and other visual aids has always been a strengthening component of many subjects' curriculum. Video presentations are increasing in popularity both as supplemental materials in class and a basis for homework tasks. Teachers are beginning to incorporate the Internet and media-based tools to improve participation and learning. There are some key ways that video presentations can be used to leverage learning opportunities for students:

  • Class projects that involve presentations or directions on how to do something could be enhanced with video uploading
  • Imagine completing a video project with classmates, uploading to a site, and linking the site to the class's portal for everyone to view and share.
  • Homework lessons and projects that are teacher-endorsed 'clips', available online, could further enrich students learning.
  • A simple instructional video or step-by-step guide, available to students on a short video clip has potential to keep them on track and motivated to learn more.

Although there are many thousands of videos on Youtube for this learning process. Some New Zealand teachers are supporting students in creating their own material to enhance their learning opportunities. Others are producing tailored videos themselves to support their own students learning. YouTube has added a number of new annotations and features that allow greater flexibility in the use of video. One teacher, in the following snapshot, has put these to great effect to help students show their thinking in Maths.

“ I was looking for an interactive tool that students could use to demonstrate their understanding of different strategies to solve mathematical problems. I also wanted to move the learning beyond the four walls of our classroom by giving parents a window into some of the strategies that we teach in the classroom so that they could be more confident when supporting their children at home.”

Emma Martin, Weymouth Primary School.

We need to recognize the responsibility and ethics with the internet; the rise in porn sites and the dangers of cyberspace cannot be overlooked. However, there is great potential for educators to create effective policies and allow students to participate in a positive and productive way and students are engaging in learning with a multimedia format that they are comfortable and familiar with.

YouTube Snapshots

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