Just in case you missed it, YouTube has enabled users to upload videos using a Creative Commons Licence. This is a very welcome initiative, which now gives all users some basic editing tools to experiment with online. They are pretty basic at the moment but there is plenty of creative potential. YouTube has seeded the platform with around 10,000 CC licenced clips from sources including; Voice of America and Al Jazeera, together with plenty of sound and music files for creating a soundtrack. Ideal for digital story telling and of course you can add captions and subtitles to already uploaded movies, using the video’s edit button. Once you have edited and published your video remix and you can download the file. My only caveat is that there isn’t as yet any Search for CC on the main video page.
It seems likely the real value of the CC Licencing will emerge as more CC licenced videos are added to the database. It is also worth mentioning that any videos you have uploaded can be retrospectively changed to a CC licence, which hopefully many of you will do, in order to quickly increase the breadth and depth of the database.
Unfortunately there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the majority of schools still won’t be able access the YouTube platform in order to exploit the learning potential of this, or other recent developments such as YouTube Create. It seems clear such innovations are unlikely to unlock the mindsets of the gatekeepers who filter and block YouTube. They simply recite the old e-safety mantras, without providing significant evidence to justify denying the thousand of teachers and children access to a contemporary and relevant media channel.
Luckily this is not the case for all schools, in Authorities such as East Lothian, or indeed other countries, for example in Denmark, YouTube is not blocked, and believe it or not; “the sky has not fallen in”. They are the lucky ones.
What is becoming increasingly clear is that many teachers see real value for learning with YouTube video, and are engaging in research or developing resources. Crowdsourced examples including this wiki on YouTube useage, Tom Barrett’s online survey of web 2.0 blocking, or Jamie Portman’s History video database. I am sure there are many other examples, as well as school YouTube channels. If you know of any lease add them to the comments below. I think the more of these co-ordinated examples we have. the better the arguments with which to counter the gatekeepers.
I have been involved with major international research project, (472 responses), which has shed some light on video and YouTube in schools, and we are beginning to piece together a picture of how educators select and use online video.
As an example teachers many teachers will access YouTube out of school in order to download the video file and convert it to a desktop format for use in class. However such strategies, (which incidentally, break YouTube, Terms of Service), are not always sustainable or scalable because they rely on individual expertise and commitment, or may not have been sanctioned by the school leadership. We also found many teachers use YouTube as a search engine, in order to find material that matches their curriculum or subject, but that is starting to change, as some are now exploring the affective qualities of video.
I suspect Creative Commons licencing will encourage a more constructivist approach to video for learning.