Youtube is much more than simply a video resource, thanks to a bit of behind-the-scenes coding. By publishing something called an “application programming interface”, or API, Google (YouTube’s parent company), has allowed other websites to “mash up” YouTube content with additional tubes, creating a plethora of resources teachers can leverage to create new learning opportunities for students. In this post we’ll take a look at 3 outstanding resources: Tubechop, VideoCritter, and SyncTube.
By sliding small selection bars, Tubechop allows you to chop out a specific piece of a longer YouTube video, helping focus your students on the most important pieces of content. The site allows you to link to your splice or embed it into your website, wiki, Moodle course, etc. Even more than that, every splice comes with its own comment wall – giving your class a virtual space to analyze and discuss the clip. (Thanks to Eric Wonsidler for this tip!)
VideoCritter is a quick way to add subtitles to any YouTube video (or many other online videos, for that matter). An obvious activity for upper-level foreign language students, this tool might also be of interest to other humanities teachers. Think ‘interpretation’ here. Instead of typing subtitles for what a political candidate has already said, perhaps type what the candidate meant when he delivered that sound byte. Or, retell a narrative dialog by muting the sound of a video and giving the characters new lines (in the pattern of a few popular internet memes).
SyncTube lets users set up a “theater” of sorts, where friends, small groups, or large classes can watch YouTube clips at the same time, interacting with one another in real time via a chat window. With YouTube a teacher-only resource at the moment, this tool might best be used (at least during school hours) as a collaborative tool, connecting two or more classrooms either across the hall or the district. The “room leader” (the teacher who set up the SyncTube session) gets to stop and start the video at appropriate times, allowing classes to discuss relevant points and generate questions that might be then shared via the chat. Multiple videos can be included in any given room, and a teacher can set up as many rooms as she would like.
There are any number of additional creative ways to use YouTube content to help students understand and engage our curricula. If you’re looking for more inspiration, you might find this guide to YouTube tips, hints, and hacks a helpful source!
Have other ways you use YouTube in the classroom? Please share in the comments!