Saturday, 8 August 2009

YouTube - An Active Learning Tool?

Hi all,

YouTube is a well known video sharing site. It contains a large amount of videos that can be effectively used within the classroom.

Recently, I showed a YouTube clip to my Prep students. Over the last few weeks, my lessons have aimed to orientate students to different job occupations within the community. In this particular lesson, students were exploring the role of a Fire Fighter. The YouTube video clip was used to hook students into the content of the lesson. I found a clip on Fireman Sam and thought that it would be a good way to engage students into the role and responsibility of being a Fire Fighter. The students became really engaged in the lesson, and it provided a starting point for classroom discussion.

Click here for the link. I have also embedded it into this post as shown below.

There are sites such as TeacherTube that purely provides educational videos for teachers. Regardless of the video sharing site that is used, it is important to ensure that students are safe online. In some schools, only teachers are allowed to access these sites. However, the program KeepVid allows the Learning Manager to download the video prior to the lesson and play the them in the classroom or upload them to servers where students can access them. This program is useful to ensure that students are not exposed to inappropriate advertisements or comments when streaming the video live. This also overcomes any problems with bandwidth connection within a school. I was unaware of this program until the lecture/tutorial at university, which meant that in my lesson I streamed the video live. To ensure that the movie ran smoothly, I had to let it load during the lunch break at school. I also made the video into a full screen, before turning the data projector on and then turned it off before exiting from the full screen mode, to ensure that the students could not see any inappropriate advertisements or comments.

This piece of technology is extremely useful to engage or provide further information about a topic to students. It allows the Learning Manager to search for videos pertaining to the relevant unit of work being explored in the classroom.

This technology tool can be viewed through the lens of Active Learning (ACU Adams Centre for Teaching Excellence, 2000):

For example, a task for students may be to create a solution or response to a news topic recently featured in the media.

1. Input – viewing news reports though YouTube can assist the students to gain an understanding of their topic through multiple senses (seeing, hearing).

2. Process – working collaboratively, students can film their own news report or construct a moviemaker file.

3. Output – students can upload their created product to YouTube and reflect upon their response or solution to the problem.

YouTube can be used within the classroom as an effective pedagogical tool, provided the Learning Manager ensures that students remain safe online. I personally believe that it is an effective way to engage students in a task, whether it is used in the hook, body or conclusion. The key to using this tool effectively is to show students videos that specifically relate to the intended learning outcomes.
I will take this new knowledge and apply it into the classroom at my next opportunity.

Until next time,



ACU Adams Centre for Teaching Excellence. (2000). How does Active Learning work? Retrieved August 3, 2009, from Active Learning Online:

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