I started noticing it a few months back. The headphones I keep in the office cabinet moved off the shelf each block at an ever-increasing pace.
Nope, it wasn’t that the kids were listening to music. It wasn’t that they were viewing/listening to off-task video. They were absolutely on task.
It’s always been clear to me that learners need context about any subject before they can get serious about asking good questions, about investigation, about research, about creating new knowledge,
It used to be that my students started in encyclopedias. A couple of years ago they shifted to Wikipedia as starting point (or reference tool) of choice.
This year YouTube became the new research starting point. It has also become my students’ go to independent learning portal.
I noticed my students learning lots of things using YouTube. A large group is planning to perform Michael Jackson’s Thriller at the prom. One specific clip of step-by-step instructions plays over and over on our workstations. I’ve noticed our guitarists studying clips to improve their technique.
Why not YouTube, or GoogleVideo? My students love video. It teaches to more senses at a time. Most YouTube clips are short, providing nicely chunked bits of knowledge.
Most of my students recognize that all knowledge is not equal. So, providing they make appropriate choices, and they triangulate what they discover, YouTube makes perfect sense.
They figure out what it is and if they are interested. And then we move on.
Lots more tools in the old information toolkit! But YouTube has definitely become a favorite hammer.