Saturday, June 23, 2012

YouTube, Its Time

One the most underused tools in  the Madison Metropolitan School District is YouTube. I regularly assist teachers, IRT's, and BRT's with video related questions and solutions. The allotted level of user space in under 5 GB which is hardly enough to start a simple video project.  Solutions offered to this user space problem has been taking the video camera home, putting data on a USB stick, or creating a personal YouTube account.

Let's just focus on the YouTube issue. It makes no sense to require employees to put work related content on their personal YouTube accounts. Just from a data security perspective, why would a district   want student data on personal YouTube accounts which it has little control over. If such content was uploaded to MMSD YouTube accounts there would be opportunities to control use, access, and sharing.

Now that we got that rant out of the way, what kind of ways could YouTube be used in a school library. Today I will focus on one; Professional Development.

This year I have had opportunities to lead several PD's on tech related issues at the school level. As part of this PD I created screencasts both for the PD itself and as a digital substitute.  It should be pointed out one aspect that made these PD's successful was that they occurred during district PD time, time during Monday early release that is set aside for school wide PD. This is important because earlier attempts to have it occur during individual / team planning time was not well attended.

As one example of how YouTube could be used for on the spot PD is the following Calendar video. During a Communication Committee meeting several teachers mentioned they still were not quite sure how to use Google Calendar. At the time we were going on the second year of using the calendar, and one year of using it as the only calendar for school updates (no P-Copy).

What the teachers wanted was a calendar of events that previously occurred in the Staff Bulletin. This bulletin had not been published in over a year, and teachers really missed the "at a glance" view of the calendar.  One, of course, does not need a bulletin for any of this, Task View gives an almost identical view in Google Calendar itself.   What follows is a short video explaining how to get this view from difference sources.

YouTube is as essential to how I do my job as email, blogging, or creating Google Sites. Rumor has it Google Hangouts will be coming to Google Apps for Education in the fall, so its coming ready or not. Above is a playlist of the PD videos I have created this year. All of which should be located on a YouTube account connected to my district account.