Youtube, educational ally in classrooms

A+students+search+for+chemistry+help+guides+them+to+a+Youtube+account.+The+search+features+one+of+the+most+popular+educational+Youtube+accounts%2C+Crash+Course.

Photo By Paige Speedling

A student’s search for chemistry help guides them to a Youtube account. The search features one of the most popular educational Youtube accounts, Crash Course.

Paige Speedling, Distribtion Reporter

All over the United States Youtube has been an educational ally. Youtube lets people upload entertaining, educational, informative, or just really interesting videos. A large number of videos on Youtube are for educational purposes. Students and staff should be able to access Youtube in and out of school unrestricted.

Out of 1.3 billion videos, there are over 500,000 educational videos on Youtube. Not only can it be used for entertainment, information and even recipes and crafts, it can also be used as a great resource for education. Youtube is a great source for education because it is real people explaining how to do something. It can show a whole new perspective.

“I have used Youtube in the past to get help on chemistry homework and other types of homework,” junior Olivia Olson said.

From preschool to senior year of high school and beyond, no matter subject, there is a good chance there is at least one video on Youtube about it. From Khan Academy to NASA statistics, it is easy to find an uploaded video.

“Youtube chooses what to restrict. There is a generic filter of restrictions that we use, but we can use keywords to further narrow down restrictions. Teachers can actually make a restricted video available too,” technology integration specialist Mike Teachout said.

Youtube has put in place a plan for teachers and administrators to have access to all videos, even the restricted ones. As more videos appear on Youtube, the better they are and easier they are to find.

“I see Youtube as an educational tool. There’s a lot of content that gets put up on [Youtube] that teachers can utilize” Teachout added.

Things like news clips, documentaries, sports videos, current and historical events, and just actual events can be found on Youtube to help aid students and teachers alike.

“In school districts where YouTube is blocked, teachers sometimes go to great lengths to show videos that they believe enhance their lessons,” Stephanie Strom in her article YouTube Subtracts Racy and Raucous to Add a Teaching Tool” in The New York Times wrote.

I see Youtube as an educational tool. There’s a lot of content that gets put up on [Youtube] that teachers can utilize.”

— Mike Teachout

 

Teachers can have a major advantage in teaching with the aid of Youtube. Youtube was founded in 2005 and is now the largest video platform in the world. It can help them explain something to their class, or just teach them the basics of a new chapter.

“It’s an easy resource, and it’s nice to hear other teachers explain the content in a different way,” Olson said.

Different teachers teach differently. Sometimes hearing someone else’s perspective is helpful and makes more sense than someone else’s way of doing it, Youtube gives that advantage free of charge making it easier than ever to access it.

“Although some of Youtube is educational, a lot of the other videos are of people eating hot peppers and things like that,” technology support aid Tom Hudson said.

Schools can not stop kids from getting distracted, but with the Youtube restricting most videos, it helps narrow down the chances of kids wandering off during classroom.

“Mr. Connolly, in Chicago, said the district had banned YouTube originally to ensure compliance with the federal Children’s Internet Protection Law and to avoid jeopardizing federal financing for technology,” wrote Strom.

Protecting a kids innocence and natural urge to learn is tricky. At the end of videos, Youtube recommends other videos. Not all of those videos are appropriate for school or the viewer’s age, and if one of the videos peaks a students interest, then they will be more likely to lose interest in learning and pay more attention to the non-educational and inappropriate video.

Although many advantages come with Youtube, many parents and schools are worried giving students unrestricted access to Youtube will distract and expose their kids to inappropriate content. Schools can’t completely protect everything they look at; they just hope that the vast majority of students use it in an appropriate manner and make the right decisions. In the long run, Youtube is a helpful tool that students can rely on.

Youtube being restricted and even banned in school is slowly fading away. As our technology improves and becomes even more integrated and usable, schools will adopt Youtube back into their customs. For now, students and staff will have to work to get around the unnecessarily blocked videos.