I’ve written before about the extraordinary value and significance of digital video for enhanced teaching and learning; as Chris Anderson writes in Wired Magazine:

 I believe that the arrival of free online video may turn out to be just as significant a media development as the arrival of print. It is creating new global communities, granting their members both the means and the motivation to step up their skills and broaden their imaginations. It is unleashing an unprecedented wave of innovation in thousands of different disciplines: some trivial, some niche in the extreme, some central to solving humanity’s problems.

In short, free online video is boosting the net sum of global talent. It is helping the world get smarter…. Video is the killer app.  Don’t write me.  Tell me. Show me.

When I was a teacher in the nineties, videos were much harder to access, often expensive, and somehow it seemed the mentality was that if you were going to show a video, you ought to show an entire hour– a full episode for instance of “Eyes on the Prize” or “The Civil War.”  The youtube revolution, however, has unleashed not only an enormous array of video opportunities, for free, but also shifted the mindset to the power of short video- five minutes is too long, 2-3 minutes perfect.  It is for illumination, not full-length exposition.

And as we recognize the power of digital video-watching for student understanding, we also come to see the critical importance of the digital video-making for student skill development.  It is the third leg of a communication skill set, joining written and oral communication.    As the Chronicle of Higher Education wrote last year

Film students aren’t the only ones producing videos for homework these days. Professors teaching courses in writing, geology, forensics, sociology, anthropology, foreign languages, and many other disciplines now assign video projects, pushing students to make arguments formatted for the YouTube age.

video is only one aspect of multimedia literacy, which can also include other forms of digital communication, including audio and interactive presentations. “It’s really being able to communicate effectively in a networked culture.”

I’m lifting the following from our weekly St. Gregory Hawks e-view newsletter; it is a monthly column prepared by our Technology Director Andrei Henriksen, a series he calls Trending site of the month:   This month’s subject is YouTube use, and he has helpfully collected reports from a number of our teachers about the way they are using youtube, as an element of our 1:1 laptop program, in class. My thanks to both Andrei and these teachers

 English, Dr. Kate Oubre

First semester, students in English 1 produce a creative project including a written memoir/story, original art, and an original promotional video uploaded onto YouTube and inserted into their own Google site page.  Students this year focused on food and culture and produced such works asThe Perfect Gift” with animation, and “St. Patrick’s Day Supper,” with a slide show and written narration.

 History, Dr. Michelle Berry

We use YouTube in both my Seminar in US History and my AP U.S. Government courses.  Most recently, students uploaded their own videos from the APGOV Campaign Project to YouTube.  For an example: 

Folks have uploaded snippets of older films and of historical events that make YouTube really useful in the history class (two of my favorite ones to show are the controversial Birth of a Nation1915 and the Civil Defense Administration’s educational propaganda Duck and Cover, 1951).  

Students love to be able to see the past in tangible, visual form, and much of it is present on YouTube.  YouTube can also be used creatively in other ways.  One Friday, I was out of the classroom on a basketball trip, but a student filmed his classmates leading discussion, posted it to YouTube, so that I could watch (and thus grade) the facilitation even though I had to miss it.  The possibilities are endless!

 Health Education, Amy Kublin

I have slowly integrated YouTube into our health presentations.  Students are “in tune” with YouTube and enjoy watching many of the videos they find on their own.  Therefore, they don’t automatically discredit the information or topic, or have a preconceived idea that the upcoming video will be boring.  There is so much current information regarding skin cancer awareness, concussion management updates, and nutritional trends, etc. available to us in video form to utilize with our classes.

 Languages, Jeff Clashman

In class I show videos about language, usually with the theme of accuracy.  Berlitz has funny videos about the study of language.

YouTube also is a great place to call up socially relevant music.  In the past weeks we have examined the world situation that caused Johnny Cash to always wear black and how John Henry defeated the machine.  Music is a powerful glimpse into American mythology.  Also you can watch boat races from Venice or horse races from Siena to stay current on Italy!

 Leadership Institute and East African Studies, Fred Roberts

One of my classes, East Africa Studies, is taught online to students at St. Gregory and Atlanta Girls School.  To keep the students engaged I need to use as many resources as I can.  I also realize that not all students learn the same way, which is where the use of YouTube comes in handy. For each lesson I have a site which provides the text of the lesson, and embedded in that lesson is a YouTube video of the class being taught using a Smartboard or Prezi.  One example is here. 

I’ve done the same thing in teaching Kiswahili, Kenya’s national language.  Along with providing lessons, like this one, the students can also practice with flashcards.

For our leadership institute we’ve taken care to use digital video to record and share some of our key events.  An example:

 Mathematics, Michael Herzog

YouTube was used recently in Mr. Herzog’s Algebra 2 class for a test review.  Topics on the test were listed on his class website and each topic was linked to a video showing examples being worked out.  Students said that seeing a video of an example problem being worked out by Mr. Herzog really helped them review for the test.  Go to this link to see Mr. Herzog’s page to see the links to each explanatory video.  A sample: 

✹ Chemistry, Scott Morris, Ph.D.

Scott uses a technique known as flip teaching, or reverse instruction, wherein he uses youtube to post digital videos of his lectures, has students watch them for homework, and then uses class-time for problemsolving sessions, applied learning, and labs.  Here are some examples of his lectures.

 Science, Dennis Conner

YouTube has so many real world examples of physics.  The videos, whether staged demonstrations or real-life events, make great examples of how things work and provide the opportunity to show an application of physics that I could not reproduce in the classroom.  Many of the videos relate directly to our class discussions and can provide a warning to students to use their physics education to guide smart decisions.  For example, here or here.

Students are also frequently making their own videos about their science learning, such as the following about the construction of a giant tricycle and about a trebuchet.

✹ Arts, Dr. Alex Shawn

Over the last three years, music students have been using YouTube to find videos and recordings of everything from the great composers to the latest jazz/blues rendition of a tune on which the students are working.  Comparisons of style, texture, and tempo are primary in this application.  This year Composition students will be performing and downloading their original compositions on YouTube to share with others who might not otherwise have the opportunity to hear the pieces performed.

✹ Athletics, Jeff Clashman

As a soccer coach I use YouTube often.  I learned from a musician friend that the keys to improving are practicing, playing, and watching/listening/observing.  I can show a Youtube video daily or weekly to a team as the observing portion of each player’s learning.  Players need to see a volley from Zlatan Ibrahimovich

or a header from Abby Wambach,

or a blind goal from Christiano Ronaldo to know what the summit of play can be.  It gets players trying new styles and tricks.  It gives players a greater sense of fun and freedom.  Watching a goal celebration makes players want to score goals.