Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Finding Safe Videos for the Classroom

Video and film play a vital role in the 21st century classroom, and online access makes them easy to find and use. This 11th grade modernization of Snow White on YouTube demonstrate readers theater and could be used before students composed their own modern readers theater versions of fairy and folk tales:

My very favorite Schoolhouse Rock short, Conjunction Junction, is available on YouTube anytime I want to do a mini-lesson on conjunctions work “hooking up words and phrases and clauses.” If I’me teaching Hamlet, a quick search on YouTube will turn up Sir Laurence Olivier’s performance of the “To Be or Not To Be” soliloquy, ready to share with the class.

The problem with YouTube, as I’m sure almost everyone knows, is that there are also a lot of very inappropriate videos on the site. It’s a difficult site to turn students loose on because of the amount of guidance needed. In many districts the site is banned outright by network firewalls.

This is where sites like TeacherTube and Teachers.tv come in. Think YouTube for teachers, and you have the idea. Teachers upload student-created videos, their own instructional videos, tutorials, in-service and conference presentations, and demonstrations. TeacherTube has an American feel. Teachers.tv is the UK spin on the idea.

You’ll find resources like a book talk on the 2008 Newbery Award winner, a promotion for book clubs, and the Alphabet in American Sign Language on TeacherTube. And you’ll find a collection of videos for English and media instruction on Teacher.tv.

In addition to these two general sites, there are some specific online video collections that can be used in the classroom:

Here are some final tips to help ensure that everything goes smoothly:

  • Always, always, always preview the entire video before sharing it.
  • Be sure that you’ve obtained permission from families and your administration.
  • Watch for “related” or “popular” video links that may appear near the video you plan to use.
  • Embedding a video can avoid some problems, but remember that sites like Google and YouTube include links to “Related Videos” in the video screen as well.
  • Check the comments that accompany a video. The video may be suitable, but spammers and trolls may have filled the comments with inappropriate language or links.


Rita Oates said...

Thanks for a very pertinent and helpful list of sites.
Add one more: SchoolTube
at www.schooltube.com

from their website: SchoolTube provides students and educators a safe, world class, and FREE media sharing website that is nationally endorsed by premier education associations.
SchoolTube is the recognized leader for moderated, internet media sharing for teachers and students. All student created materials on SchoolTube must be approved by registered teachers, follow local school guidelines, and adhere to our high standards.

They also provide tips on how to shoot better videos, so schools with a video production class or club will find a lot of value in the site.

elizabeth stanley said...

I commend you for raising this important issue about finding great (and appropriate) videos and DVDs for the classroom. You gave lots of good links in your blog.

One dynamic resource, however, is missing from your list: the local SCHOOL MEDIA LIBRARY, where educational videos and DVDs are selected, acquired and stored for use by teachers in their classrooms.

And where do School Media Librarians find new videos and DVDs? Check out the National Media Market at WWW.NMM.NET where more than fifty educational media companies present their new titles every year. These videos and DVDs are made specifically for classroom use--and selected by librarians and teachers as appropriate and evaluated to match national educational standards. And many are available for digital streaming, too!

Finding "safe" and "free" videos and DVDs may be as easy as looking in the local school media library.
Who knew?

Frank Baker said...

I have created a long list of online videos which could be used to teach "media literacy." Take a look