Do you find yourself watching videos that other people post on social media? I don’t. My wife will ask me, “Did you see so and so’s video?” And, I typically reply, “No.” I don’t watch short videos in my personal life, and I didn’t think I had a reason to watch them in my professional life. If I don’t watch You Tube, my students shouldn’t be either.
During an after-school Coffee with the Cadre meeting I asked Mr. Shunneson if You Tube could be blocked at the middle school level. Anyone that teaches middle school knows the students lack self-control and self-direction and have difficulty using many things appropriately. You Tube is no exception. If I had a penny for every time I told a student to get off You Tube and finish their assignment, I could quit teaching. Surely Mr. Shunneson would agree. But he didn’t. He told me there was too much good information on You Tube to block it.
Challenge Accepted. How can I harness the power of You Tube in my classroom? I decided to have my students find videos on certain subjects, upload a screen shot of the video, and write down one thing they learned. Some of them liked it, some of them didn’t. One response changed my mind about You Tube: "his videos help me learn better."
This student doesn’t do much: assignments, reading, etc. But, this student took the time to leave a comment that wasn’t required to let me know they liked this assignment AND learned something. They didn’t get the screen shot uploaded, but they did learn something.
I have used You Tube videos more often since this first assignment. I decided to use my energy allowing the students to learn in a more intentional way, than to continually tell them to get off You Tube.
Today's thoughts come to us from Mr. Wayne Cox. Wayne is in his second year of teaching seventh grade science at Dennis Middle School. He worked with individuals with developmental/intellectual/mental disabilities before returning to teaching after a 23 year hiatus. He fills several leadership positions in his church, and is a volunteer summer camp counselor for his church. He is married to Julie and has two sons Wes and Will.