While I’ve been familiar with YouTube and TeacherTube for a while now, I have to admit that I’ve never actually sat down and browsed or searched them before now. In the past I’ve always had a link someone else has provided or searched for a specific video that someone needed or that I knew was already in YouTube.
I have to also admit that the whole YouTube thing scares me a bit – not the how to use/access it, but because of the content. Yes, it has a lot of great original and educational content, but it also has a lot of copyrighted content that I’m sure was never given permission to be uploaded. Which leads me to question if I use those uploaded items in the classroom, am I modeling good behavior? Am I inadvertently giving my kids the notion that it’s okay to violate copyright? Or have I taught them well enough to be responsible users and producers of materials?
Despite these questions, I can’t help but appreciate and get a guilty pleasure out of finding bits of nostalgia from my past such as “One RingyDingy“ I’m going to try to embed the clip, but since YouTube is blocked by my district, teachers, you’re going to have to take a look at it from home. Sorry!
Of course, I wasn’t born when Laugh-In aired, but my Mom (who worked for the phone company) had the album.
Another example of the benefit of YouTube is using it to bridge the generation gap, especially with cultural references. I was talking with some students the other day and we were talking about baseball and for some reason I mentioned Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First” sketch. The kids didn’t know who or what I was talking about, so I pulled up YouTube and, sure enough, I found a bunch of clips of “Who’s On First.” Of couse, I had to play it a few times for some of them to get the humor, and I don’t think they really found it as funny as I do, they were probably humoring me, but at least they know who Abbott and Costello are now!
Yahoo! MessengerEmoticarolers – Send an electronic greeting to your friends and family with Yahoo’s Emoticons as carolers. Here is mine to you guys!
BBC News: “Earth enjoys full moon close-up” – Driving in this morning, the moon looked like it was within reach AND was huge! I tried snapping a picture with my cell phone, but of course it didn’t turn out. *sigh* However, there is one in this BBC article.
Ypulse:Speakaboos Beta – From the about page: “Speakaboos brings classic children’s entertainment into a digital world. Beloved characters and treasured stories are given new life through amazing celebrity performances, beautiful illustrations, and original music. At Speakaboos, children develop literacy skills while learning about technology in a safe and fun environment.” While the little I’ve explored is cool, what I didn’t like was how The Christmas Carol by Dickens was adapted. While the story is essentially the same, there were enough differences to upset me – since this is one of my favorite stories.
CNN.com: “Fans bid farewell to Polaroid film” – “… Sixty years after Polaroid introduced its first instant camera, the company’s iconic film is disappearing from stores. … Although Polaroid says the film should be available into 2009, this is the final month of its last production year. …” Bummer. While I no longer have a Polaroid camera, I do have fond memories of Mom taking pictures with hers and me fanning the photo until it magically appeared. I guess I’ll have to take a look at Poladroid.net and see if, while I can’t have the real thing, I can at least keep the memories going! There’s also an online movement called SavePolaroid.com if you want to read and share your Polaroid stories.
Judy O’Connell over at HeyJude: Learning in an Online World shared a YouTube choose your own adventure story “The Time Machine: START HERE!“ How cool would it be for students to create their own stories and share them in this manner. I could definitely see some of my students wanting to take on the challenge!