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Candidates' Video Commentary as Teaching Tools

Over at PBS's teacher blog, learning.now blog host Andy Carvin wonders whether schools will be able to use the candidate videos on the Internet to inform students about the 2008 elections and to show them how to create video political commentary of their own. But to do this, schools would have to allow their students open access to political videos online. However, most of these videos are available via YouTube, a site which is blocked by many public schools. "These videos will be of clear educational benefit," Mr. Carvin writes, "yet as long as their host sites are blocked, the materials will get blocked as well." Should students have unfettered access to YouTube? And what educational value can they get from these online political video commentaries, which may connected to young students in a way that traditional classroom teaching about the elections may not?

Incidentally, a new YouTube spinoff for teachers has been unveiled. TeacherTube provides everything from clips of math lessons to sign language lessons to Mrs. Burk's Simplified Fraction Rap, which is a must-see.

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