Last week, YouTube announced the opening of its Edu channel, giving a single destination for a lot of educational content:
Do You EDU? Educational Hub Launches: Using YouTube as a vehicle to democratize learning is one of the coolest, unintended outcomes of its existence. YouTube EDU is a volunteer project sparked by a group of employees who wanted to find a better way to collect and highlight all the great educational content being uploaded to YouTube by colleges and universities. We'll feature some of these videos on the home page on Friday and elaborate further in a separate post on that day.
While this (like much of the non-junk that exists on YouTube) is a great resource for educators, as Vicki Davis points out in her CoolCatTeacher blog,
While I'm delighted that we need a place to display the college information. K12 is the place that desperately needs youtube.edu.
For example, my ninth graders have a youtube channel to support their work. Several months a go, Edutopia had a contest which had students upload their videos to youtube, so Virginia and several of my students did so. (Virginia was one of the winners.) For about two weeks, a flagged video showed an inappropriate thumbnail on the related videos.
Even a video I posted on ZDNet showing me playing with Art Rage on a convertible Classmate generated "related video" at the end that, while not inappropriate, was utterly irrelevant. Yet YouTube makes it so easy for students, schools, staff, etc., to upload, embed, and share video, it's hard to argue with its utility. iMovie, for example, practically begs you to upload video directly to YouTube and, again, it's just so easy.
Yet the amount of junk that exists side-by-side with serious educational resources on YouTube makes it less attractive, particularly as a site for hosting video (as opposed to a resource that students can use under teacher supervision). There are ways of embedding video in a website, whether Windows Media or Quicktime, but these tend to be much tougher for student-generated content. Schools can set up streaming servers, as well, but again, this introduces an added layer of management. TeacherTube provides a cleaner alternative, but remains slow and less accessible to kids who want to post their own content.
So where do you post video and multimedia? Where have you had good luck? Or do you just take the good with the bad and make full use of YouTube?