Collaborative Projects Across the World with YouTube

25 Mar

This is article two on using technology to collaborate with classes all over the world at no cost and with little time and training. This week I will share with you some of the ways I have used YouTube to work with classrooms in different time zone and continents.

One of the projects that proved successful was when my students learned a song and the movements that went along with it. Using YouTube to video them, we then sent the link to a school in North America where the first grade class took time to learn the song and the movements that went along with it and then sent us a video of them performing it.  This was a great success at so many levels in that the kids felt a pride in being able to teach a song to other kids that involved not only memorizing words but also doing some tricky movements along with it. In addition, the kids were once again reminded of how similar we are and how we are all capable of teaching one another, no matter where we live and what languages we speak.

Another project was with the fourth grade English learners who prepared a presentation on the ecosystem of where we live and shared it with 6 classes from 6 different parts of the world who also prepared their own ecosystem presentation. The kids were thus exposed to the major world ecosystems and learned about the characteristics of each from students their own age living similar experiences and learning about the same topics. Once the presentations were viewed, the students then posted their comments and asked questions of one another. This project was truly collaborative in that the students were relying on each other to learn all that they needed to learn about the ecosystems of the world and by teaching the facts about their own ecosystem, they reinforced the learned concepts and applied them for an authentic purpose and to a captive audience.

YouTube makes editing, uploading and sharing videos a breeze.  It is a powerful tool that gives teachers total control. Your settings can be set to private so that only those in your project can view the content. It is very user friendly and with a click of a button, you can open up your classroom to the world thus turning it into a global community.

So next time you are thinking of a collaborative project for your students, don’t’ hesitate, expand your simple classroom project and reach across continents. You will be amazed with the learning opportunities that your students will encounter.

If you are hesitant about using YouTube to share your educational experience, you can check out SchoolTube.com. I personally have not used this site but I am told it is a moderated video sharing site for K-12 students, teachers and parents.

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