YouTube is one of today’s primary online entertainment sources. One of the amazing things about YouTube, is the ability to upload and publish your own videos, successfully creating your own online video library. Whether this is for a business, comedy, or simply just to get your thoughts out there. However, one of the most underutilized tools of YouTube, is for education.
YouTube is loaded with tons of instructional material that is not only informative, but maybe more importantly, is also visual. People having a hard time grasping text or someone’s voice instructing them, now have something to see, rewind, and see again to fully “get it”. This type of education can be informative – like learning about the Gold Rush in America, entertaining – like how to farm a spot for gold in World of Warcraft, to even criminal – such as breaking into washers and dryers or coke machines.
Sitting in Government class the other day, we watch a YouTube presentation on the Gold Rush. The Gold Rush was a major factor in creating the west, and specifically the area where I now reside, Las Vegas. We watched a set of videos called “California Gold Rush 1848.mp4″ which had 5 total parts. Instead of reading a bland textbook that can barely hold your attention as your eyes are sagging, now we have recounts from several sources and experts, we have real documented footage of life in that time, and we have examples of actual people and journals they kept.
This is a simple example of how utilizing social media in the classroom can have an amazing benefit, and should be implemented more. Adding little youtube snippets during lectures can keep your students awake and involved. It immediately gives them something they can connect with, as soon as a teacher snaps YouTube open, every student perks up, thinking “whoa what are we gonna watch?” They are so familiar with today’s technology platforms, oftentimes they will instruct the teacher on how to use it! Think about that, the students instructing the teacher on how to get the teacher to help the students learn. Pretty amazing!