I feel like I have only begun to scratch the surface of videosharing. It is a web 2.0 tool which has something to satisfy just about any interest. It has multi-purposes for both those who wish to create and add content to the internet, but also for those who wish to seek it out.
Videosharing has contributed to a “participatory media culture” (The Center for Social Media). It is constantly evolving and changing the way we communicate. It allows self-expression through video production and direct information sharing. Its impact on our culture becomes more apparent as videosharing grows in both its form and popularity.
I think that videosharing has two main contributions for enhancing the education of our students. First, there is an abundance of video content available which can be used as a viewing resource in our classrooms. Teachers who take the time to search through sites can find appropriate and interesting videos which can support curriculum objectives: such as an instructional math video; or a video clip used as the basis to discuss an issue. Although higher quality educational videos are more likely to be found on sites such as TeacherTube, that does not discount the useful resources which can be found at sites such as YouTube. However, since videosharing is open to various forms of expression, it is still critical to be careful and selective before using any video with students.
A second contribution videosharing has made towards enhancing educational experiences is in the form itself. Student-produced video can be seen as a product of their learning. Teachers can opt to give students the opportunity to display their media literacy and create their own content in video productions. Again, since videosharing on the internet is completely accessible to anyone, serious precautions and guidelines must be discussed with students to ensure that potential privacy risks are not overlooked.
On a side note, many school divisions do not provide students access to videosharing sites. There is much debate around the reasons to either lift or keep these bans. I do believe that this resource has a time and place for its use in our teaching, and banning access to these sites does not allow students to become fully media-literate. I think that teachers, administrators, and parents all play a role in teaching students the responsible uses for this type of tool. The issues surrounding videosharing can not be addressed if we are not allowed to face it head-on.
In closing, I found an inspiring video on TeacherTube called "When I Grow Up" which I feel is a reminder of the reasons why should be EMBRACING this tool, not shying away from it.
"When I Grow Up..." (TeacherTube Video)