Friday, January 25, 2013

How did I live before Youtube?

So, last year, after fighting for years and promising that we wouldn't spend every class watching videos of cats using the toilet or pandas crying, my district decided to unblock YouTube!  I had known what a powerful tool this would be for the classroom because I had been illegally ripping videos and burning them to CDs for years.  As a Department Chair, I was a little amazed at how fast my department jumped on the bandwagon.  Seeing that this was something new I thought it might take a year or two for people to feel really comfortable with it.  Well, obviously YouTube is what spans the generations because my teachers jumped on it so fast that only one teacher asked for any DVDs last year and those were merely to have in our library for emergency sub plans.  So my next step was figuring out how I could help them vet the sources out there.  As I played around with YouTube I have found that Playlists is my answer!
For me, Playlists can be used for two reasons.  First this was a great way for me to organize content by grade level and share the entire Playlist with my teachers.

I created ones for each grade that I called Singles where I would just put singular movies that matched the content.  
There is also a fabulous thing that Playlists allows you to do.  Many of the videos uploaded have been split into multiple parts in order to meet upload criteria.  In order to show these as one full movie,  pull them all into a Playlist in order.  When you choose to Play All, it plays all of the videos together as one.  Brilliant!
I just recently showed one of my kiddos' favorites:  Future Fright:  Losing the Bill of Rights.

It is a Discovery School Movie that details what life would be like if we suddenly lost the Bill of Rights (it also stars Timothy Busfield so all of us old people can give a "What up?" For Thirty Something!). The kids love it but I find it funny because they think the video is "long" (it's 24 minutes long).  I guess gone are the days of watching a movie over multiple class periods.  Usher in the era of YouTube!  Come on over to my YouTube Channel and see all the great middle school social studies movies I've found!!
Click here: http://www.youtube.com/user/mrswilkinshms?feature=mhee

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