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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Making Friends With Youtube: Why Deep Commenting Makes Youtube so Useful to Educators and what Youtube can Really do to Help Education



Youtube is a BAD subject with most schools.  They love its usefulness, but with copyright and other content on issues (which would all be solved if they put in a ratings system or education section) most schools ban this service.

Well those who wish they had youtube will now have another reason to groan at what they are missing:  deep links.  I sent a link through on this a while back, but now the service is live.

CNET explains it beautifully:

On Thursday, YouTube introduced a new feature that enables users to send a link to a video that will start at the precise time they've selected...
YouTube's
system will parse it over and create one of these deep links. For
example if you say "The explosion in 2:10 blew my mind" the 2:10
becomes a link to that specific part of the video
.




Deep linking in YouTube from Josh Lowensohn on Vimeo.

So, go over there and comment, but this is what it means to me!!

We've moved a lot of our video production onto the Ning video portion of our different projects because so many schools can't use youtube, but my problem has always been critiquing videos.

How do you tell a student that they have a problem at minute 4:02 without them having to go through the whole thing to find it?

Now, I'll be able to write a comment and give feedback directly on the video through the comments.  This is certainly something I'm going to try out and will make me take a second look at youtube for some appropriate class projects.

Youtube still has some things that they could to to open up the education market -- here they are:
  1. Ratings System -- TV shows are now being carried on youtube -- those have Y7, M ratings.  There is no difference between TV ratings and youtube videos -- they are the same thing!!!  I know that youtube wants to stay away from this, but it is going to be demanded increasingly.  If they had ratings, schools could set their filters to allow "G" rated videos from youtube through.  The system isn't there yet, but it could be.

  2. Education URL -- If they had http://education.youtube.com and let educators sign up to vet sources of information and mark and feed content through to that site that is then unblocked through firewalls, I'd be the first to sign up.  This would work.

  3. Private Networks - I'd love the ability to have a little private network on youtube for my students and I to work through issues, hash things out, and then eventually send to the public grid.  This would also help things along for educators, and in some ways might make it tougher for Nings.

Organizations (and people) that see themselves as invincible fall.  If you're not growing, you're shrinking.  Youtube is great in many ways but I'd like to see it be more and available in more US classrooms.

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