Online Instruction Tools: Teacher Tube Reviewed

The Education Techie writes about tech tools that can help students and teachers. This week, the Techie is taking a look at online instruction tools. Today, we'll talk about TeacherTube. Schools offering Instructional Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

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What Is It?

Founded by a veteran educator, TeacherTube is a media sharing site. The idea behind TeacherTube is to create a community wherein teachers can share multimedia educational materials and students can browse around this material in a safe environment. Media is not just limited to video - there are also categories for audio, photo and text files. There's a lot on the site, but you have the option to sort by highest rated, most viewed or most favorited media, making it easier to find good quality stuff.

Community involvement is an important part of the site, and not just in terms of adding and viewing material. Users are relied upon to give constructive criticism to those who post media to the site. For example, one video about the War of 1812 features a comment from a student who says that he normally isn't too interested in such material, but was captivated by the presentation of that particular video. Community involvement is also important in flagging inappropriate content that might make it unsafe for young students to surf around unattended.

The site's design isn't terribly advanced, and while this doesn't make navigation particularly difficult, it does make it a little bit harder to find what you're looking for on the screen. It's not a huge drawback, though, and since TeacherTube is a much smaller, more community-run operation than big online companies like YouTube, it's understandable. The focus here is on providing an outlet specifically for educational content, rather than on turning a profit.

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Who Will Find It Most Useful?

TeacherTube is directed at more of a K-12 audience than at postsecondary faculty and students. Though the site is safe for students, I think teachers will get the most use out of it. There's such a wide range of quality and content on the site, and I don't think a lot of students will have the patience to sift through it all without some curating guidance from teachers.

Teachers who do use the site might find material to supplement or organize lessons. A wide variety of topics are covered, from U.S. history to Shakespearean literature and earth science topics. If you're a K-12 teacher looking to incorporate more multimedia into your classroom, this would be a great place to find materials. Since the site is designed for sharing information, it's easy to download materials directly from TeacherTube to your computer.

This is the second article in the Education Techie's series about online instruction tools. Previously, the Education Techie talked about Instructables. Stay tuned for more articles this week!

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