by Jim SillI remember writing a letter to the editor of our local paper back in 8th grade. It was part of a class project about trying to change our neighborhood. Every morning, I searched frantically through world news, local arrests from the night before, & page after page of advertising just to find my letter IN PRINT! I recall running around the house showing my entire family my 2 paragraphs. I eventually cut it out for the world to see anytime they visited our refrigerator. I was published.
Times have certainly changed when it comes to publishing, hasn't it? With dwindling newspaper subscriptions and more tech savvy class projects, teachers are looking for today's equivalent of publishing student work. Enter Youtube. Sure there are plenty of other video hosting sites, but ask any kid to rank their coolness factor and YouTube will rate the highest.
Youtube receives 48 hours of video every minute. From all over the world, videos pour into what seems like a bottomless abyss of storage. Students, especially my own, love seeing their work on YouTube. I even find them often rethinking their work because they know it will be shown on the site. For many teachers, uploading videos there comes with some trepidation. Part of worry among educators comes from lack of knowledge on how to manage the files we upload. YouTube allows you the ability to control how people see your work.
Once you sign in to Youtube, you will be able to drag and drop videos right into the upload screen. There you can choose how people will be able to see your video. This comes in three flavors: Public, Unlisted or Private.
This adds it to the zillions of other videos on the site. Using keywords, tags, user names and more, anyone can search for and view your video. This is wide open and a great way to get everyone to see your video. This means EVERYONE.
Anyone with the link can view your video. Choose this option and you will be given a private link to your video. This means that only people who know the link can view it (such as friends or family to whom you send the link). An unlisted video will not appear in any of YouTube's public spaces (such as search results, your channel, or the Browse page). This is a great way to share videos with relatives that don't have a Google account. Be careful of posting this link on social networks. Once the link is out there, anyone can use it.
If your video is set to Private, only you and up to 50 other users (that you choose to invite) will be able to see it your video. The video will not appear on your channel, in search results, or in playlists. You are essentially using YouTube to store your video, but not make it available for the general public to see. The catch with this one is that anyone that you choose to invite must have a YouTube/Google account. This might rule out poor Aunt Marilyn in Rosendale.
By just taking the time to understand these three options, you can start to take advantage of this amazing resource for publishing student work for everyone or just a couple people to see. Kids will frantically skip world news videos, FAIL videos, and countless advertisements, just to find their video from your class. Once they show their family, they will copy the embed code and paste it on their Facebook wall for all the world to see. Ahh…to be young again.
In the workshops that I will be doing at some of the Google Apps EDU Summits, we will explore many other ways to use YouTube to intelligently start showing the world all the awesome things you are doing in your classroom. Hope to see you there.
If you are wondering about how to introduce the topic of staying safe on Youtube, visit the Teen Safety page to get started.
To learn more about YouTube in Education, don't miss the Google Apps for Education Summit produced by EdTechTeam in partnership with Google, coming to a region near you in 2012-2013: http://www.gafesummit.com