From guest blogger Hannah Rose Sacks
As more and more teachers seek out rich technological resources to enhance their instruction, the digital community is responding with a growing array of tools and content. Now, YouTube has launched an online channel specifically designed for teachers where users can upload, watch, and share videos for free.
The channel, with the tagline "spend more time teaching, less time searching," is a depository of teaching resources for all levels. It has offerings specifically geared toward elementary, middle, and high school instruction. Within each subset are menus of resources for lessons within language arts, math, science, and social studies.
The wealth of resources is designed to meet teachers' needs in several ways. According to the "About" page, they "worked with a group of teachers to put together playlists of partner videos that align with the common core standards." The videos also range in length and level of sophistication, typically broken up into lessons by subject area.
In addition to being a resource to help teachers prepare lessons, the videos can be used in the classroom to supplement instruction. YouTube suggests that students will be more engaged in the classroom if offered a range of culturally relevant examples.
With videos explaining the same concept in different ways, ranging from visual demonstrations to real-world examples, teachers can personalize playlists appropriate for each student's learning needs. This allows students additional instruction time and explanations of lessons outside of class. Many schools and districts, for example, have Internet filtering policies that restrict or prohibit YouTube and other sites that may provide access to inappropriate materials for students.
While using YouTube may be easy for teachers, incorporating it into classrooms can be challenging in many schools. Introducing web resources into the classroom means working within a school's Internet and social media policies.
In Florida, the Miami-Dade School Board voted last month to draft a policy making it easier for students and teachers to use online resources like YouTube while still following district guidelines, reports The Miami Herald. "The same way we have a process for accepting books into our libraries, it should be the same for websites," said Board Member Raquel Regalado.
The site is also soliciting video lessons from teachers, which can be uploaded to the site.
Watch this video from the Organisms and Environments playlist in the Life Sciences category for Elementary School Science: