TeacherTube and Slideshare

Posted on February 16, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

by Tim Cushman

“What do you think about YouTube?” The question came from a ten-year-old at the end of a recent workshop on Internet Safety for three hundred 4th and 5th grade students. The question was posed in earnest but not in innocence. For this young person, like many “digital natives,” YouTube is a major landmark on the Internet landscape. I shared an anecdote about how I had recently used YouTube for a “how-to” video tutorial on a home improvement project. The video was exactly what I needed to get the job done quickly without a trip to Home Depot in hopes of finding an associate with some carpentry experience. I expressed my belief that YouTube is a reflection of the Internet itself – it’s all about where the user chooses to navigate.

YouTube does have value for the educator because of its shear size and openness. Unfortunately, YouTube is also a bad idea for general classroom use for the same reason. If you would like to explore YouTube through the educator’s lens, check out this Edutopia article from author Chris O’Neal. However, you will have to take the tour from home since YouTube seems to be blocked by every school district in North America (and rightly so). Instead, take a look at TeacherTube.

TeacherTube is a video-sharing website based on the YouTube template. It was born out of the desire for sharing “classroom safe,” user-generated content within the educational community. The result is a repository of lesson ideas for teachers, demonstration videos to enhance student understanding, and recordings of lessons from other educators. Users can search by keyword, by video popularity, or by subject area.

TeacherTube is a growing site and will only get better as more educators upload content. See what one teacher did to teach his students about the Transcontinental Railroad. Another educator posted a video on how to use Microsoft Excel to make a classroom poster. A teacher in Spain created a short presentation on emerging web technologies and their bearing on language instruction.

Slideshare (www.slideshare.net) is a Web 2.0 site designed for users to post their presentations. Slideshare is not designed specifically for educators, but it does hold educational value. A word of caution: Slideshare can contain material not appropriate for the classroom, so do not let your students loose on the site. This is the type of site you would use at your own work station during lesson prep. With that being said, Slideshare does have some very good presentations for you to download to be used during lesson delivery.

To get the most out of Slideshare, click on the “Community” link along the top navigational banner. Next, click the “groups” link. You will see “Education” listed. You can also do a simple keyword search on the home page of the site, but I like exploring the educational community of Slideshare for getting ideas.

I love the Slideshare presentation titled Shift Happens. This is an excellent presentation to show during a staff development workshop. The presentation deals with globalization, technology, and the impact on education (a topic addressed by Thomas Friedman in the book The World Is Flat). You will also find a good presentation on Web 2.0 for the classroom here.

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    The School District of Greenville County – Instructional Technology Department

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