How to have a YouTube Conversation

My daughter & I had an asynchronous video conversation with a 3rd grade teacher in California. Mrs. Yollis posted a welcome back video for her students,

and also invited visitors to post comments on her blog so Emily & I took the liberty of making a short reply video for our comment to her. She loved it and plans to show it to her class.

One thing we forgot to do was remove the “related videos” from the embed code. It was a simple fix that Mrs. Yollis guided me through. You never know what kind of stuff YouTube will suggest as a related video, so it’s better to turn that feature off. I wish YouTube would give us some better controls over sharing content for children.

I don’t see any reason why classrooms full of kids couldn’t do video conversations such as these between classes around the world. Doing a live Skype conversation is more problematic because of time zone differences, but an asynchronous (not live) conversation like this is completely doable provided the technology is available to the students.

What are some of the reasons that might stand in the way of classes sharing video postcards back and forth on a regular basis?

2 thoughts on “How to have a YouTube Conversation

  1. I think this is a great idea! Unfortunately some of the obstacles that I might face in my district would be privacy issues for the younger students. Uploading video of themselves, even for educational purpose might create some parental hesitation. having the technology to k=make this happen may be an issue for some. The overall concept is a wonderful idea that can take on many faces. My digital animation class would be able to share their animations with limited personal information.

  2. Hi Tom,

    I think the obstacles you mention are commonplace, and largely a matter of educating people. Parents are paranoid about having images or videos of their children put online because of shows like Dateline NBC “To Catch a Predator”. But the real danger is not from teachers & schools sharing what they are doing in school, but when young people are left to their own devices when it comes to interacting with strangers online. Online predators prey on young people with limited supervision & without a sense of safe behavior. When we block out or avoid online activities at school, we exacerbate the problem, not help it.

    I like the “field trip” analogy. No rational teacher would turn kids loose on a field trip to a large city, but supervised field trips are done all of the time. What’s more, when teachers are sharing the great things they are doing in class, other teachers can learn & benefit from the sharing. Education is improved when teachers that do great things are empowered to share.

    There are teachers who share online videos & images of students learning, but they are rare. The ones who are successful at it get school & parental permission & buy-in. That is critical. The best teachers doing this sort of sharing keep the parents completely in the loop. And they report much more involved parents & families as a result.

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