TeacherTube - a free community for sharing instructional videos, audio, photos, documents and other teaching resources.

TeacherTube allows users (who are primarily educators) to add and share content, which other users can then download and use in their classrooms, homeschool, or other instructional setting. In addition to having user-driven content, some other Web 2.0 capacities include the ability to comment on content added by others, a rating system to indicate opinions of value, and an RSS feed so users can keep up-to-date on new content.

Special Features

  • Videos, audio, photos, documents, and teaching resources in one place
  • Includes its own search engine
  • Groups, forums, and bulletin boards for connecting with other users

Strengths

  • Eases sharing of educational materials among educators and homeschoolers
  • Less likely to be blocked by school filters than unmoderated sites, such as YouTube
  • Users can assign a category for content in order to aid others in finding it
  • Users are able to search for specific content with key words
  • No file size or length limits, and no limit to number of videos each account can post
  • Most Viewed, Most Discussed, Most Favorite, Most Linked, and Most Responded buttons ease the discovery of "hot" content

Weaknesses

  • Forums and bulletin board are open for spammers
  • Search engine is not Boolean, and no search tips are available
  • Cannot sort results when browsing
  • Only one content category can be assigned per video, so any other themes must be added as tags to expand the likelihood of retrieval
  • Advertisements can be irrelevant to education or educators' interests and needs, and flash format can be visually distracting


Comparison to similar Web 2.0 tools

  • SchoolTube
    • SchoolTube touts itself as "The place for students & teachers to share videos online," and proudly highlights its endorsement by the National Association of Secondary School Principals as a safe site where students, teachers, administrators and schools can upload and share video content with other students, their parents and the community. Videos are moderated by teachers before uploading to ensure school-friendly content. Classroom resources, technology tutorials, discussion fora, lesson plans, grant information, and links to websites with royalty-free music, images and video, along with detailed copyright help, combine to make SchoolTube an incredibly potent and free web 2.0 resource. SchoolTube is free of distracting flash ads, although there are sponsored channels offering education-related content, and informative tutorials.
  • Teachers TV
    • Teachers.tv is a website funded by the UK Department for Education and run by Education Digital, an independent media consortium. Aimed more towards providing professional development resources, lesson plans, worksheets, weblinks, and an online community for educators, than in serving as a platform for student-generated content (a la SchoolTube), the site is searchable by applicable age group, category, role (teacher, administrator, etc.), and subject. Videos can be downloaded, edited, and used in the classroom, training programs, or staff meetings. The quality of videos is excellent, but unfortunately for American educators, many of the subject-specific videos and lessons for students do not have download or viewing rights to those located outside the United Kingdom. The majority of the professional development and classroom resource-related videos, however, do not seem to have this problem. Teachers.tv also has a large number of podcasts available through iTunesU.
  • Edublogs

    • Specifically designed for students, teachers, and the educational setting, Edublogs contains only education-related content, making it usable with the majority of school internet filters. Primarily a blogging platform, Edublogs has the capacity to incorporate video, podcasts, assignments, lesson plans, calendars, slideshows, and other publications, while also facilitating discussion, collaboration, and social networking between students and teachers. Privacy regulation options range from password-protected to public, and Facebook and Twitter can be incorporated into blogs, along with surveys and user-created forms. Blogs can also can act as a host for webinars, or facilitate the publication of class newsletters and photos. Single-user blogs (for a teacher, class, or student) are free, while for $39.95/year, a Pro membership can be purchased, which provides larger storage, multiple blogs (up to 50), enhanced support, no advertising, and more features. Campus accounts range in price from $900/year for 100 blogs to $6,700/year for unlimited blogs and storage.
  • YouTube

    • The quintessential Web 2.0 video sharing platform, YouTube (on which TeacherTube is stylistically modeled) is banned in many school districts in large part to the unmoderated nature of its videos and advertisements. While the search feature is superior to TeacherTube's, and related videos are suggested to the viewer, the lack of video and comment moderation makes it unacceptable, for the most part, for use in the classroom, not least of all because the majority of school internet filters do not allow access to YouTube.



Learning Connections


Two examples of possible classroom activites that use TeacherTube.


Tutorial


TeacherTube Tutorial

A brief introduction to TeacherTube, including search strategies, how to set up material for class usage, and how to upload your own material and create groups.

References, Articles, etc.

Articles
Lucking, R.A., Wighting, M.J., Christmann, E.P. (2009). TeacherTube for science. Science Scope. 32 (8). 62-64.
An overview of using TeacherTube in the classroom along with some helpful advice.
Schaffhauser, D. (2009). The vod couple. T.H.E. Journal. 36 (7), 19-23.
Discusses an innovative way to deliver class lectures to students via TeacherTube, freeing up class time for other activities and one-on-one help.

Websites
DeSpirt, D. (2008). Using technology in the classroom. Retrieved from http://www.suite101.com/ content/teaching-with- technology-a54934
Describes the basic functions of TeacherTube along with providing some undetailed suggestions for integrating TeacherTube in the classroom.
O’Neal, C. (2007). TeacherTube is YouTube for educators. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/ teachertube-videos-online- collaboration-teachers
Examines some of the more popular features of TeacherTube with brief suggestions of classroom use.