career · tech tools

Tech Tools 4 Life: YouTube

YouTube is way more than just a video-sharing platform! Yes, the cute cat montages are awesome, but you can use YouTube for so much more than entertainment!

First, whenever I am having difficulty figuring out how to do something, I check YouTube. It’s so much easier to watch a video tutorial than to read a long description. Want to know how to cut a mango? How do I wrap-text pictures in my email signature? How do I create a survey using Google Forms? The answers to these questions and so much more can be found on YouTube!

YouTubeI use YouTube a lot to research tech-related topics for work. For example, I had to do some data analysis, and I needed to figure out the correct formulas to use. The best thing about looking up this info on YouTube is that you can watch people’s computer screens as they explain things, and you can mirror it on your own computer. Plus, you can re-watch videos as many times as you need to!

On the flip side, YouTube is great for sharing tutorials. For example, recently two family members reached out to me to help them learn how to sell things on Facebook Yard Sales. Their tech skills were on the basic level, so I made a video explaining how to take pictures on a cell-phone and upload them to the computer. I also made a video about how to find and join yard sale groups and another video about how to list items and manage a sale. I used YouTube Editor to editor link the videos together into one, and I even added some helpful photos. I was able to personalize the videos for my audience, and they can watch the tutorial to help them get started independently.

Lastly, I used YouTube to help me solve a challenge I was having at work. I run an origami club, and keeping 25 students on the same stage of each fold is an impossible and unnecessary task. Kids learn at their own pace with each needing some assistance at different points in the process.

I tried finding videos on YouTube, but I ran into two challenges. First, I needed to find videos that were appropriate for kids, of course. Second, I needed to find videos that weren’t heavy on verbal explanations. A student with limited knowledge of the English language or with hearing impairments would need to be able to follow the visual directions in the video. I found some great videos, but not many that met these requirements. I decided to safesharemake my own and created a YouTube channel for the origami videos. I shared them with my students using SafeShare, a free program that allows you to share videos with the ads, comments, and suggested videos removed.

As you can see, YouTube is a great professional learning tool. You can also use it to share out information with others, and YouTube Editor makes editing and combining videos incredibly easy! How do you use YouTube as a professional resource?

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