Thing 9 - Online Video

Not too many years ago, only those with expensive equipment and advanced technical skills could produce digital video. That began to change as equipment became available to the average consumer. Today, equipment is cheap and ubiquitous – we can even capture video on cell phones – allowing just about anyone to produce digital video, anytime, anywhere, about anything.

Enter YouTube -- the premier video sharing site which made posting video to the Internet as simple as possible. Users create free accounts and, with a few mouse clicks, are able to share their videos with a worldwide audience.

In the spirit of Web 2.0, YouTube is about more than just posting video. It’s also a community. Users provide feedback by adding ratings, typed comments, or “response videos” to the videos they watch. The result is a worldwide community that is connecting, collaborating, and communicating through video. And this community is having influence beyond the Internet as YouTube videos are often featured on news and entertainment television shows.

Searching YouTube, you’ll find videos on just about anything, from old movie clips to teenage video journals. Be aware: although there are some rules against inappropriate content, there are still plenty of videos which are unsuitable for the school environment. That, along with the fact that watching online videos uses a lot of bandwidth, means that YouTube is restricted in most districts. You may want (need) to complete this Thing at home.

To complete Thing 9 you must:
A. Explore online video
B. Sign in to YouTube and leave a comment
C. Reflect on Thing 9 on your blog

A. Explore
Spend some time exploring YouTube. Search for your favorite television shows of the past, the subject area that you teach, favorite musical artists, or any topic of interest. At the bottom of the video screen look at the rating, number of views, comments, and video responses. If you find a video you enjoy, look to the left at who the video is from. Clicking on the name of the person will direct you to their YouTube page. Click “videos” on their page to get a list of all the other videos they’ve uploaded. Not sure where to start? Have a look at some of these - some serious, some not so serious.

Did You Know 4.0
Free Hugs Campaign
In My Language by an autistic woman
Carol Burnett Outtakes
Laughing Baby
Water Cycle Song Wayne RESA Science Consultant Dave Bydlowski
Taylor Mali on What Teachers Make warning: some profanity
Honda Choir
Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - "Sleep" - and the backstory
Pa and Ma on Math
Dramatic Chipmunk
Baby Panda Sneeze
Noah Over Six Years
Pavarotti Nessun Dorma
Women in Art

Extra (not required): if you are interested in the history of YouTube and its impact, watch this hour-long presentation by a Kansas State University professor: An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube -- don't let its title put you off, it's absolutely entertaining and fascinating.

In addition to YouTube, there are other video sharing sites, some designed for a specific audience. Have a look at TeacherTube and SchoolTube, both of which feature school-friendly user-created video for teachers and students.

B. Join and Comment
Sign in to YouTube using your Google account information. Then, rate and leave a written comment on at least one video.

C. Reflect - Blog Prompts for Thing 9
What do you like or dislike about YouTube? Did you find videos that would be useful for teaching and learning? Is YouTube restricted in your building?


  1. YouTube is easy to use and a quick site to get on for teaching ideas. I looked up and commented on Math fraction tricks as this is always helpful to many students. We can get on YouTube at school for educational purposes.

  2. You Tube is not restricted, and I used it to find songs for the kid's talent show. I find that you must be extremely careful, and people make very inappropriate comments!!!! Really, why do they have to do that?