I hear this from people all the time: “I can’t use YouTube.Â It’s blocked in our school”.Â Especially in high schools.
I wonder if the people who made the decision to add the video sharing site to their blacklist have actually looked closely at what is there.Â At the ever expanding bits that could actually be used for learning.
Like the Periodic Table of Videos, wonderful examples of how to present chemistry concepts in ways that can’t be done in most classrooms that’s only one part of the growing collection of science materials.
And now more than 100 universities and other educational institutions are adding materials from their classes to the channels that make up YouTube EDU.
Plus the Library of Congress is preparing their own channel with hundreds of historical and cultural clips on YouTube (and iTunes, another resource increasingly being thrown behind the filter).
Of course there’s a lot of crap on YouTube.Â You could say the same thing about television (which seems to be recyling the YT junk into an infinite feedback loop), movies, bookstores.
But isn’t that why we have teachers and librarians?Â To help students find the good stuff out there in the world and teach them how to make the best instructional use of it?
It’s time for administrators (and many teachers) to get past the reflexive urge to block and ban anything on the web that’s popular with students, thinking that it must be educationally invalid.
We need to spend more time training teachers how to use these resources.
After all, live, intelligent filters are always more effective than the electronic ones.