It’s not fair, Kaitlyn isn’t sharing…

July 13, 2009

It’s not fair, Kaitlyn isn’t sharing…”

This is a comment that I often here from my daughter Bethany.  Her younger sister Kaitlyn is notorious for not sharing her own toys and taking Bethany’s.  At this point they would be described as “Children1.0”.  They differ from the read/write web that we are all slowly growing to love.  Where they bicker at each other and then to their mom and dad about not sharing, the web of today is all about sharing and collaboration.

In checking out the internet for information related to YouTube and other video sharing websites and the classroom and by playing with YouTube, here is a quick summary of some my discoveries:

  • YouTube accounts for 1 out of every 3 videos viewed online (ComScore)
  • Embedding video is a great way to bring YouTube videos into the classroom.  For example, you can embed videos right into your blog (below is a video I created a couple of years ago of my daughter Bethany doing a rendition of Baa Baa Black Sheep) (see article by Chris O’Neal)

  • There are definite safety concerns using YouTube.  There are ways to alleviate them.
  • There are other options besides YouTube.  These include TeacherTube and SchoolTube.

When I went looking through the U of A library database for articles, one of the articles I found, amongst the very few was an article by Jerry Everhart entitled YouTube in the Science Classroom.

I located it using the ProQuest database from the U of A library system.  U of A students click here to get access to it.

Everhart (2009) argues that YouTube has many positives to it.  The pace of YouTube is controlled.  A student watching the video has the ability to stop and rewind a video in order to see the content over again.  In the case of a DVD, the content is goes at regular speed and a teacher simply has to hope that the entire group of students are able to understand the material upon first viewing.

As a teacher, this is extremely powerful.  I have students who are not capable of working at the same speed of the other students in the class.  With technology such as YouTube, I would be able to embed the video to my blog and have students review it at home in the evening.

One of the features of YouTube is the ability to ask questions and make comments about the video.  Producers of the video are often involved in dialogue about the videos they upload to YouTube.  This interaction between author and viewer is very powerful and leads to authentic learning taking place.

As suggested by Michael Wesche in the YouTube video that was part of our classes TrailFire participant observation is a very good way to understand a concept.

With this in mind, I set off to make a video for posting to YouTube. As you can see above, I have made a video just showing off how I incorporated a small digital camera and gave my girls a task. It is a fairly easy task as they are only 4 (in a week) and 5.

I found the process rather fun. It was definitely time consuming, but fun. For a teacher, it would be important to show the process of making a video and ensuring the video stayed curriculum appropriate and not making videos all of the time. The creating needs to be the act of the student. They are the ones who are to learning and in creating the videos their knowledge will increase as well. Personally, I think that I will use video to have my students demonstrate their skill at performing a science lab. By videotaping the process, students can later reflect on how things went during the lab. It also allows for a good reflective artifact should the experiment have results that are not consistent with standard results for the same experiment.

In making my video, I wanted to add music to it. I was thinking that the new Black Eyed Peas song Boom Boom Pow would be appropriate.  Reflecting upon previous discussions on my blog and with others, this did not seem the appropriate choice.  So, instead I went to ccMixter which is a creative commons for music.  I was able to find a song that I liked and include it in the video.  There is a whole whack of songs that are available for download and use.  All you have to do in most cases is let your audience know where the song came from.  It is a very “you scratch my back, I will scratch yours” philosophy.  I was able to use a song that I liked for my video and the producers of the music get some publicity, provided of course people actually watch my video.

In looking more specifically at video sharing, there are two sites which are becoming more prevalent in schools.  The sites are TeacherTube and SchoolTube.  These two sites have the same basic idea: a place for videos that are educational in focus can be posted.  My personal opinion is that SchoolTube is a more suitable choice for schools as the content is all moderated before it is posted.  On TeacherTube, as with YouTube, the content is moderated by users.  So, if there is not diligent viewers of content on a site, inappropriate content could be visible to many students for an exended period of time.

To further promote SchoolTube, it is in partnership with numerous educational organizations.  I believe this lends to the credibility of the site and the lasting impact it could have.

My final thoughts are that video producing and sharing is a skill which is not going to be perfected over night.  In the future I hope to make more videos, either instructional for my students or PD pieces for my staff.  I also help to begin to use video sharing sites such as SchoolTube on a more regular basis.

I look forward to hearing any comments that you may have.


  1. Dan,

    I was impressed with the pictures your daughters took and especially how you put it all into a video. They are real sweeties.

  2. Great to see that free and LEGAL music sounds not too bad. If I ever make a video I will keep that in mind and I’ll make the bookmark, as soon as I am done this comment and it will then be available for the future and as soon as I learn how to share (bookmarks) then I will share my video and free music bookmarks with you Dan (upcoming blog). The girls are beautiful and so smart – thanks a bunch for sharing!

    Heather ~:)

  3. Dan, you have demonstrated very well that with knowledgeable teaching/coaching, creating and sharing a video via YouTube can be accomplished easily. However, as you stated it can also be very time consuming. Probably, that is where the teacher/instructor has to be very clear on task-related objectives and learning outcomes. YouTube per se is also wide open, so there is a potential safety/appropriateness issue for mall levels of learners.

    By the way, I have really enjoyed viewing and reading all of your blogs. Your IT skills really shine through.

    • Lori, I totally agree with your comment regarding safety/appropriateness issues. I think that the reward outweighs the risk most of the time when we talk about using technology to engage our learners. With that, I also feel that as technology leaders / instructional leaders in a school, we have a responsibility to inform our fellow colleagues about ways to mitigate the risk or provide other lower risk alternatives.

      This is the direction that I would like to go in my capping project. What is the best way to deliver technology PD to working teachers considering all of the demands they are already faced with.


  4. When I was teaching in JH food class, I had my students do a cooking video. The chose the recipe, prepared the ingredients, and then did the process just like Food Network.

    I can totally see kids doing this and posting them on YouTube. What a fun way to accomplish the objectives across the curriculum.

    I think your science experiment can be like Bill Nye the Science Guy – you could even show that to demonstrate a polished video.

    Such fun!

  5. I never thought about using video sharing to differentiate instruction for students, but it just may work!

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