While teaching a clinical rotation the other day a student asked me a question and I responded as I sometimes do – “look it up!” It occurred to me that the answer could have been better illustrated with a video rather than text. I quickly informed the student to try You Tube for a visual explanation to assist with the response. Interestingly the site is blocked by the IT police stating this is a “social network”.
How unfortunate that this rich learning resource is blocked from those that could benefit from its use. Granted that there is the possibility that some would use the site inappropriately, yet in this professional environment I feel that this would be minimal. There has been extensive documentation pertaining to the positive aspects of using You Tube for learning purposes (http://voices.yahoo.com/the-value-e-learning-youtube-video-sharing-84540.html). Articles have been written about blocking the site and its impact on learning (http://www.centerdigitaled.com/policy/YouTube-The-Next-Major-Teaching-Tool-.html). I do not feel that the IT Department considered all aspects of You Tube application before making this decision.
Consider the creation of video content and sharing of such with colleagues. What an engaging interaction this creates. The visual learner is provided with video which assists with comprehension of technical task performance. I created this video regarding a form of oxygen administration (Please use full screen when viewing).
This article suggests alternatives to You Tube which teachers may consider when attempting to use social media in their classroom: (http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2010/09/47-alternatives-to-using-youtube-in.html)