Friday, December 14, 2012

Should students have access to YouTube?

One of my colleagues, Phil V, says that, when it comes to using tools like YouTube, he is :" for teaching responsibility, allowing students to practice, and following through with consequences for irresponsible behavior.
I happen to agree with Phil on this. Those are the skills many parents are teaching their kids. That includes lessons about what is appropriate to upload to YouTube. As example, two siblings and a friend made a very creative video in the neighborhood. Their use of the technology told the story very well. They wanted to post it to YouTube, so the parent with the YouTube account had a conversation about how they had to first check with the other child’s parents to make sure they had their permission. Before making the call to the parents, they went through the video one last time. As it turns out, in the excitement of the moment, the other child had run from one action scene to the next, which included putting on his helmet, and jumping on his bike. Problem was, the kid had obviously never snapped the buckle on his helmet. In good conscious, the parent could not let the kids post that video (even if the other parents agreed). When the kids were asked if they could figure out the problem with the video, they figured it out right away. It was never posted, and they never re-shot the footage. That’s a shame, because it really was great! However, the lesson was learned to pay attention to the details.
Recently, a student saw a video I had shot at a recent professional development session. I was all ready to include it as part of a course I’m creating. He said, “Do you realize that your email address is on the board behind the speakers? So is the WIFI code for the room. Are you sure you want that in the background? I can show you how to make it disappear.”

Kids really can act responsibly when given the opportunity.
However, if we can not see the value in giving access to students, with the appropriate level of classroom management, I do believe that teachers should have access to YouTube for educational purposes. What do you think?

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