Sunday, August 16, 2009

Thing #20 -- YouTube--video sharing sites




For six years I was the cataloger and convener for LA's Audiovisual Media Library, so I have some fairly developed opinions about videos. When our funds were cut in 2004, I continued to make videos available to our schools -- these were all educational, short, quality videos that had been vetted by subject area teachers in English/Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Science, Health, and the Arts. It was truly a teacher-centered resource -- unlike textbooks or other offerings. I searched for websites that would explain the importance of visual media in order to mount the case for reopening my library, or, at best, providing on-demand programs to our schools. This was supposed to be done by our TV station (KLCS) but has only been implemented in a small number of schools, because it is costly. Teachers need videos. I did not see the value of YouTube until I performed in our wonderful "California Girls" book cart drill team at ALA in 2008. There we were, on several videos, and on YouTube!! What a thrill!! In addition, I admit to loving the emails I receive from friends that show unlikely animals supporting each other in the wild, all courtesy of YouTube. I can see the educational value of course -- students can be so creative and expressive with videos!! This year a Board Member encouraged students to enter their videos in a competition showing the effects of budget cuts on the schools. What a great idea!! And several were truly excellent.

So for this post I chose the video about the new Kindle since it shows a funny battle between a book and a kindle. I am already lamenting the loss of newspapers (I still subscribe) and can't imagine curling up with a Kindle. But then again, it's much easier to travel with a Kindle.

In perusing YouTube for possible videos I did come across some interesting new sites: one in particular was for WizIQ -- free online teaching and E-learning with web conferencing. So much of YouTube is commercial or to push a particular platform. But libraries can benefit from these new resources, as well as the many tutorials that teach how to use Web 2.0 tools and more. I am interested in archiving photos and documents, and I found a video about this as well. So these sites are a valuable, free resource for cash-strapped libraries (aren't we all!!).

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