Wednesday, July 29, 2009

You Tube

You Tube is a website where anyone can upload and share videos. These can be videos that individuals have made or even television segments that have been uploaded by television stations and production companies. You Tube has become a regular haunt for most of today's generation as they can watch interviews with celebrities, view fan tributes, see hilarious skits, crazy stunts and view clips on things that interest them.

Since You Tube is so popular with today's children it would make since for us to incorporate it into our classrooms. There are plenty of clips on You Tube and its spin off Teacher Tube that can be used for educational purposes. For littlies there are numerous clips from shows like Sesame Street, Word World and Play School. For older students there are news reports, documentaries and short films. You Tube is appealing as it offers a more engaging way of communicating concepts to students. If the right clips are selected there can be the balance between education and fun. What I mean by that is that often movies are seen as time fillers or if thy are used in an educational context the gains are limited as most times the film is followed by a basic question and answers sheet.

The clip that I have chosen is Part 1 of the Coral Seas episode from The Blue Planet series by BBC, narrated by David Attenborough. The clip details how most of sea life depends on the coral reefs. Attenborough discusses how coral is formed and the life of polyps. At ten minutes in length, this is the longest I would want any clip to run for in my class; if the clip is too long students can tune out. This segment of the show would be the basis of investigation into the sustainability of the reef. Students would act as environmental researchers to explore threats to coral reefs and what can cause coral to die. Students would then develop scenarios of what would happen if we had no reefs. Students would finally use this information to develop an awareness brochure and ad campaign.

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