I often incorporate YouTube clips in my teaching. Sometimes I will start at the "Music Links" page on my class website as a launching point, and also as a mini advertisement for my website. Other times, however, I use Zamzar to download a video file version of my favorite YouTube videos, which can have its benefits over viewing videos on the Web. First, it is a safeguard against unexpected network connectivity issues. Second, it lets me show the video without the risk of showing inappropriate comments or links to inappropriate "related" videos.
In a previous blog post, I discussed the benefits of classroom podcasting. Likewise, I think there could be many uses for and benefits of posting video of my students' in-class performances on YouTube. I have taken videos of my students with the intention of posting them to YouTube and embedding them in my class blog. However, there are a few obstacles that make video production a little more difficult than podcasting. For example, not every student in our school has a signed publicity release. For students who do not have this signed release, I will sometimes ask them to be my "production assistant" and help with various off-camera tasks. Second, I do not have the necessary equipment to make quality videos. I sometimes use my iPhone camera to record videos, but without a tripod or external microphone, these videos sometimes turn out with very poor quality. As of now, I have not posted any in-class videos of my students to the Web.
Our assignment this week was to find videos that relate to our teaching content and/or professional learning interests, videos that teach "how to" do something, and videos that are just fun, nostalgic or interesting to you. What is funny is that I watch videos in all three of these categories on a daily basis. I have been known to engage in a seemingly endless cycle of linking to "related videos" and finding interesting and entertaining materials for hours on end. The video below is one that I shared with my students when I was introducing the concept of singing in a round, which I found after one such period of YouTube surfing.