Yes I know there’s a load of rubbish on YouTube, I know that there is a lot of inappropriate material that you would not want children to see.
There is also some absolutely wonderful stuff. Anyone who has read this blog will know that I have used YouTube videos in my posts on numerous occasions. There is much that has added to my learning and I do not see why it would not add to student’s learning as well.
I truly believe that schools are missing out on a real opportunity to extend the resources that are available to teachers and also students.
In the end it comes down to a matter of trust. If we allow YouTube to be used in schools then we also have to make sure that students are aware of the potential dangers. An Ofsted report which came out in February 2010 stated:
“Pupils in schools that use ‘managed’ online systems have a better knowledge and understanding of how to stay safe when using new technologies.
‘Managed’ systems are systems that have fewer inaccessible sites than ‘locked’ systems and so require pupils to take more responsibility for their own safety. ‘Locked’ systems make many websites inaccessible and although this ensures pupils’ safety in school it does not encourage the pupils to take responsibility for their actions or prepare them for dealing with systems that are not locked“.
I am advocating a managed system that trusts students and gives them access to some really wonderful material that will extend their learning and may well enliven and transform their experience of school. In the process I am advocating that we allow them to learn to live in the digital world that they inhabit when they enter the school gates and develop an ability to choose wisely from the mass of material that is available on the net. I trust them and believe that most of them will choose wisely and benefit from their choices.