As a teacher I love YouTube.
There, I said it. And I realize that some of you imagine me entertaining my students with stupid pet tricks and music mashups.
Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. I love it for its incredible convenience and efficiency. I teach my students to write well, but I also want them to express themselves in visual mediums.
But here is the catch: Video files are large and clunky. Many of our favorite cloud storage sites limit file size in ways that make sharing video difficult. Not so, with YouTube. My students and I can upload different types of video files and share them across platforms in a snap (as long as the video is less than fifteen minutes long). Beyond that it integrates ever so well with our Google Apps for Education– an important feature of Mercy 2.0.
My students are seniors, but video is a major part of the ninth grade Design Foundations curriculum as well Having videos stored in YouTube (or Vimeo) allows student to link files to web portfolios. For example, Wix won’t let one upload a large video file from a desktop.
The class premise is that we live in a visual culture and that the artist brings a competitive edge to the software’s use. Denying the use of a major part of our visual culture (Google, YouTube) defeats the purpose.
Every student is given a YouTube account as part of her school issued Google Apps for Education account. Students must name their YouTube channels once they initially set them up. They are advised to use their Mercy user name (last name, first initial) and never their full name. Once the student uploads content to her channel she has full control over who can see the content ranging from full public access to only allowing certain users to no access. Students can also submit content directly to a Teacher’s channel who can in turn utilize the same privacy controls.
If you as a parent or student have questions about YouTube use at Mercy, contact Larry Baker, Tom James, or Gray Bank.
Written by L. Baker with considerable input from T. James and S. Smith