YouTube Has No Educational Value? Phooey!

My first-grader came home from school yesterday and said she had homework from music class. She knows I love the Black Eyed Peas and I think she just wanted to show me something she’d seen in school. (She has no concept of how happy this makes me.)

Please share this post/video with those that think YouTube should be blocked in school because it has no educational value. I’m sure that the students and staff at Ocoee Middle School in Orange County, CA would argue otherwise. They have my daughter singing their lyrics and me smiling.

Here are some links for some other great educational resources from YouTube.

Vicky Davis’s Favorite Inspirational YouTube Clips and YouTube in Education

YouTube’s SafetyCenterVideos’s Channel

Alec Couros’s 90+ Videos for Tech. & Media Literacy

15 thoughts on “YouTube Has No Educational Value? Phooey!

  1. I agree with you that youtube has lots of educational value but that video makes a pretty weak argument for it. It certainly has little educational value for the consumer. If that’s the argument you send me, I’d block youtube in a second. It’s cute but not educational.

    I watch it and think of the time, energy and money that went into it and can’t rationalize it. It looks like a one time thing that’s flashy but doesn’t do anything long term to help kids read or even change the cultural attitude of the school about reading. This is the school wide version of a motivational speaker. It makes for a nice kick off but I want something more, people need much more for any change to occur.

  2. Tom,
    I thought of that point of view as well. So I included some resources for other educational YouTube videos at the bottom of my post.

    Perhaps this exercise was good community building for the school in Orange County as they have many videos posted on YouTube.

    What struck me was the connection to my daughter and her love of music and how she shared the new lyrics with me about reading. She even had her sister singing it. Motivational? Yes. Yet, the music teacher wouldn’t have been able to share that video with her classes had it been blocked by the filter.

    Thank you for your comment.

  3. Anthony Della Rosa says:

    Lisa the problem with youtube is not a video like this one but the fact that their are far too many videos that are inappropriate. I have had discussions with our school’s director of technology about unblocking youtube and social networking sites, but his argument and the school boards is that kids who see inappropriate material has the potential for a lawsuit.

    I am a big fan of wanting to teach kids social responsibility when using these websites but it is so hard to just teach them control that I have to usually block more than I would like to in the computer lab

    1. Anthony,
      So, he’s blocking the teachers from access to educational material. I wonder if the network admin has an educational background…

      I’m getting ready to present on this very topic and will be blogging about it soon to survey how technology teachers, technology coordinators and network admins make these very decisions. I’ll make sure to send you a direct link to the survey.

      Thanks Anthony!

      1. Anthony Della Rosa says:

        He actually does have a very strong educational background and is certified as both a supervisor and principal. I believe he is more concerned with the legal issue of someone viewing inappropriate content.

  4. Lisa- We do not block Youtube in my district and many teacherd and kids use it. Mostly for valid (and some not s0) purposes.

    This particular video, while a catchy tune, doesn’t sell it to me as a good tool. In fact, I’d argue it is a waste of what was probably instructional time and no real redeeming educational value.

    With that being said, ids do great stuff when they can share it with an audience and Youtube is a great tool for publishing.

    Perhaps in your next post, find a GREAT example of you tube use as a educational tool.

  5. YouTube has tremendous educational value. I use it nearly every day. I find that ending a lesson with a video which demonstrates the concept or principle I have been teaching to be very effective. I teach the life sciences (biology, anatomy, and health) for which there are many concrete concepts that lend themselves well to visual representation. Trying to teach a 9th grader the process of photosynthesis without showing them an animation of it would be challenging! The “YouTube Generation” is much more responsive to short video clips than long, in-depth presentations.

    It is true the there are other video hosting services, however none of them have the breadth of content that is available on YouTube. Additionally, YouTube offers (IMO) the easiest method to upload and manage videos as well as the largest network with which to share videos.

    That being said, there is a lot of garbage on YouTube which makes opening the site up to students a challenge. I wrote a blog post in which I make four recommendations that would help YouTube become more education friendly:

  6. John – you have posted some great ideas – I left you a comment on your blog. Thanks for sharing the link here.

    Barry – Your comment is similar to Tom’s and I addressed it above. There are some resources in the post. I appreciate your comment.

  7. When I first saw this, I showed my kids as well (1s & 4th grade). They loved it and even went to school and showed their teacher. I saw it on Teacher Tube so they knew to go there and just do a search for Gotta Keep Reading. The teachers at their school loved it. They still sing the lyrics around the house.

  8. Mark Stettler says:

    YouTube realizes the challenges of providing educational users appropriate content while eliminating (or at least minimizing) inapproriate content. Try

    I agree that YouTube has tremendous value and needs to be available in schools.

    1. Thanks for the link Mark! Much of the content found in YouTube’s education channel can also be found in iTunesU. Both great resources. Thanks for sharing.

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