The edublogosphere (yes, it’s a word….sort of) is all abuzz about TeacherTube, a YouTube clone that aims to make video sharing in a socially networked way safe for school settings. Alright, so maybe it won’t be completely safe, but what tool on the web is besides some fee-based service that is completely closed off and uninviting? While I’m definitely a newcomer to news of this site, I’m glad that it’s here. Quite some time ago I made a quick post about the power of YouTube in the classroom for sharing firsthand experiences and for preserving memories that are swiftly passing from living knowledge, especially with all of the World War II veterans passing away.
So it was with great amusement and fanfare that I sifted through various videos on how to solve difficult math equations, mid-80s produced videos on literacy, and lectures from many professors. What a treasure trove this site is. All of the public videos are free to view, and if the publisher of each video wants to, they can even choose to make the video “share-able” in much the same way YouTube does. A little code for embedding the video on other sites can be included with each video, so teachers don’t even have to take kids to the site, they can just embed the videos elsewhere. And with tags like Inspiration, Math, Multimedia, Science, Literacy, and more it’s a no brainer for finding videos that are pertinent to your needs; very much unlike YouTube, where a search for those same topics might bring up a host of videos that have little to do with solving math problems, or helping with literacy. It’s the best of YouTube with just the right amount of focus and importance on community standards and safety that any school would find hard pressed to block. And best of all? It’s FREE!
Since I know I have a few Vermont and Michigan readers that have experienced Maple Sugar time, here’s an example of one of TeacherTube’s videos. It would be a great way to get elementary-age students exposed to cultural experiences prior to a field trip and/or get them thinking about what they’re going to learn.