Monday, 01 June 2020 08:09

Put the You in YouTube

YouTube is much more than a depository for makeup tutorials and cat videos.  With over 1 billion daily viewing hours and 2 billion registered users, it has emerged as the premier spot for the global exchange of ideas and information.  

At the International School of Belgrade, our focus on learning applies not only to students, but to our entire school community.  We hosted a Google Summit in September 2019, and have made purposeful, innovative technology integration one of our areas of focus.   At our upper school, we’ve been using YouTube to curate educational playlists, remotely direct science experiments, assign video essays and help students critically reflect on source integrity and search methods.

YouTube provides free access to tools that allow users to create, edit and post content.   The ability for teachers (and students) to generate their own content has been a powerful tool for personalized learning.  Students can access all of the course content outside of a physical classroom at their own pace, leaving group time for inquiry, discussion, reflection and hands-on activities. 

One thing that students are always sure to point out is that teacher-created videos are never perfect.  And that’s okay.  Making the process of learning visible, and being willing to make mistakes that are accessible to the whole world, has allowed us to create a culture of vulnerability in which we value learning as a process, not a product.  

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine by user traffic. As we begin to rethink what schools could (and should) be in the upcoming year, let us reimagine how students access information.  Perhaps they will search on YouTube and find YOU.

Written by Cheryl Hickman, Upper School Science Teacher, The International School of Belgrade