Educational Uses For Video Blogging

Over the past ten years, the technological advances made that benefit education are astonishing. Teachers do not have to just depend on lectures and textbooks to convey the subject matter anymore. Internet search engines, computer programs such as PowerPoint presentations, online study guides formulated by teachers and students, and discussion boards are commonly used by today’s teachers in their classrooms. One teaching tool that is now being embraced by many educators and students is video blogging.

Video blogging, or vlogging as it is sometimes referred to, began during the early part of this decade. The forerunner for this form of blogging, YouTube, was founded in February of that year and officially launched in fall 2005. The popular search engine, Yahoo!, also has its version of vlogging called Yahoo! Video. With each of these brands, users can upload their own videos, watch other user’s videos, and share them. These videos can include television clips, music videos, or home movies. To view these videos properly, a high-speed internet connection would be required. Otherwise, the time for a video to upload will be lengthy.

In researching each of these websites, I found that teachers from all grade levels and even college professors are using this method to teach certain aspects of their course content. I found videos online designed to teach kindergarten students the letters of the alphabet. Some videos cover different aspects of science, such as space, the structure of atoms, and gene splicing. I found several videos about my career, agriculture education, and FFA. Several FFA chapters and/or agriculture instructors have posted videos to YouTube promoting the various activities that they take part in. This is a great way to gather ideas for your own chapter to use. The FFA Creed is a very popular topic on these vlogging websites. There are several renditions of the FFA Creed presented by FFA members from all across the country. This could be one way to show a freshman the proper way to speak, stand and present the Creed when preparing for that career development event.

I was lucky enough to find six videos that someone had posted on YouTube that dealt with 4-H poultry judging. Each video depicted a specific class that members would be responsible for judging in an actual contest and detailing what they need to look for to succeed. I created my own account (www.youtube.com/dmsouther) and created a favorites folder. I added each video to my favorites and have asked that each of the members of my poultry team view these videos before we participate in the various poultry contests that take place each year. These poultry judging training videos are being used as supplemental material for them to use when completing tasks that need to be finished before our next scheduled practice.

While I find this teaching tool fascinating and very beneficial, there are some important drawbacks that I feel need to be addressed. First, and most important, is the amount of inappropriate content that is present on these sites. Before setting up an account, your age must be verified to ensure that you are old enough to start an account, but that can easily be worked around if the intending user gives a false date of birth. By setting up my own account and posting the videos that I wanted my team members to see to a favorites page, I strived to prevent them from searching for topics that might lead them to find some of this inappropriate material that I spoke of earlier. High school students are very smart when it comes to technology, so they know ways to get around things like this. At least I feel good about what I did, though. My second problem with using this form of technology in my classroom is that YouTube and Yahoo! Video are blocked by our school system and cannot be accessed on any computer. A factor that I have to take into serious consideration is that at least 50% of my students do not have a computer at home. So, I cannot require my students to log onto the internet at home to view something and expect everyone to be able to participate.

With new technological ideas becoming reality daily, I am waiting for someone to take the initiative to create a website just for educators to post and share videos. Many teachers will admit that their days do not always start at eight and end at 3:30. And, with more and more requirements being handed down from the State Departments of Education, the time to prepare lesson plans and teach our competencies is being drastically reduced with each passing year. It would be very beneficial to this profession to have another outlet for teaching our material and I think video blogging is the way to go.

 

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