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Is YouTube worth all the hype?

For many years I have been one of YouTube’s biggest fans. I had contacted Bolton LA on numerous occasions over the years to try and get it unblocked or to ask what their future plans could be with regards staff use. It was only recently that Bolton LA asked me if I wanted to have full control over Heathfield’s internet filtering to which I immediately boiled the kettle and asked what time they could get here! The ICT Dept. at Bolton have been fantastic, they have supported everything I have requested and sent people up to school to ensure changes have been made as quickly as possible!

The first thing I did was unblock YouTube for staff. I had dreamed of being able to share some of YouTube’s little gems for years with my class. I just find that Year 6 children really respond to visual learning. I just love the results after showing the pupils a video of a setting and then asking them to describe what they saw. I also use adverts to show the children persuasion in its full glory! The CentreParcs adverts are classic for this! Persuasive language, lighting, gestures, music, camera angles and expressions. The pupils just ‘get it’ when they see it!

Bolton LA have been working very closely with Bloxx to create a filtering video hosting site over the last 6 months. I was shown this last Thursday and I think it is brilliant. It is totally reliant on teachers submitting video links from YouTube that they think would be useful to other teachers. These are tagged and categorised and when another trusted teacher watches and approves it, the video is available to watch. It is very much still ‘work in progress’ but the feel of the site is good! I know there are many other ways of downloading videos from YouTube but to many teachers they will not bother doing that and opportunities to inspire our learners could be lost. The way I look at it is that whenever I find a gem of a video that tick my boxes for my lessons then it is instantly available for any other teacher to view and use too!

I was asked by Bloxx to be interviewed by The Times about why I was so passionate about the use of YouTube in classrooms. I obliged and here is their article that was printed today:

The Times Article 25/01/10

The discussion this article prompts is valid and needs to take place, however, their article is grossly inaccurate! The price structure will not be any where near the prices listed in the article (So I’m told from the horse’s mouth) and this service requires teachers to submit their favourite videos and categorise them to help future use. I for one will be a contributor to Bloxx hoping that people will share the videos they find too.

5 Comments

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  1. Chris Mayoh
    January 25, 2010 at 10:15 pm #

    I am very lucky to have full control over our web filtering and I unblocked YouTube about 2 months ago. It’s the best thing I ever did and staff are using valuable teaching resources from the site all the time. I think you’ve definitely made the right decision!

    As for other ways of downloading YouTube videos, it has to be said that although there are a number of ways in which this is possible, it does actually contravene YouTube’s terms and conditions, and is therefore, illegal with regards copyright.

    Unblocking and streaming live from the website is, therefore, the only legal way of using YouTube videos.

    @chrismayoh

  2. Thomas Pitts
    January 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    Unfortunately not all LAs are as forward thinking as Bolton. There are many places out there who molly coddle their staff with blanket bans for tenuous reasons. They clearly don’t research what’s happening around them. In many ways, I’m fearful of the impression we’re giving to our pupils by effectively banning many interactive areas of the Internet world. I get very wound up by the restrictions in place and quite jealous of the freedom allowed in other areas of the country. Be grateful that you have been given the opportunity to take control, some of us are unlikely ever to have it.

    (From my iPhone, forgive typing errors.)

  3. Ian Cuddy
    January 26, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    Interested to know why you went for a commercial solution rather than use Quietube.com or MakeHD.com, which do this for free?

    • Mr Mitchell
      January 26, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

      I went for this solution as Bolton LA have supplied this for ‘free’ (for now!) I am happy to support this development and if such a time should come where this service costs money, I shall evaluate whether it is value for money. Thanks for the links, I like MakeHD.com but one of the points of Bloxx, is that it will be only valued educational videos that will be on there. In time, if teachers help contribute, it will be a vast resource full of tagged videos for use in the classroom. the links you have provided are alternatives for the 100,000,000 videos on YouTube. However, they do provide an alternative if YouTube is blocked!

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  1. uberVU - social comments - January 26, 2010

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by DeputyMitchell: Bit of a rushed blog post in reply to The Times article today about YouTube! http://bit.ly/64Porg

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