Friday, February 29, 2008

Putting Your Virtual School Library to Work

Many hours can be spent researching and carefully building a virtual school library but it is what we do with it after construction that will determine whether or not it is effective. Franklin and Stephens in Creating Webpages for the 21st Century Library Media Center suggest ways to advertise a school library website after it is completed. They provide tips for getting the URL into the hands of students, teachers and parents. They also describe ways to promote the website through library activities to make it a tool that actually gets used by the students, teachers, parents and members of the community.

I like the way teacher-librarian Andrea Langelaar has contests for her students to get them using the Virtual School Library at Latimer Road Elementary.

Joyce Valenza in The Virtual Library, outlines the importance of a virtual library in extending the support and influence of school libraries by assisting students 24/7 in their search for and use of information. In discussing the various aspects of a virtual library, including the incorporation of technology for Web 2.0, Valenza illustrates how virtual libraries can provide instruction and guidance toward resources to support interaction with the library in person.

Fitzgerald and Galloway’s Helping students use virtual libraries effectively offers some useful approaches to teaching students how to use the virtual library. Collaborating with teachers to include resource-based learning in their lessons, using an information search model for students to follow and showing students the features and boundaries of the virtual library are all ways of getting students and teachers to successfully use the Virtual School Library.

Teacher-Librarians will find their Virtual School Libraries are most effective when the school webpage has a direct link to the virtual library and when teaching staff are taught how to make use of the virtual library. Ideally, the use of the OPAC system needs to be included, although this is often a problem due to school district security issues. It is critical that virtual school libraries are constantly updated and re-evaluated to best serve library users. If Web 2.0 tools are incorporated into the design, feedback and participation can be encouraged and updating the virtual school library will be easier.

Updating Your Virtual School Library

If you have already have a web site for a virtual library but it isn’t as effective as you had hoped, you might be interested in Remaking Your Web Site in Seven Easy Steps, where Walter Minkel presents seven considerations (which he calls commandments) essential to the remaking of a library web site. He looks at ways to make a site that is easy to navigate, presents clear information and provides links to great web sites and databases. Minkel provides examples with reference to two particular library websites, one that he has remade and another that he has newly created. Both websites are made using macromedia software called Dreamweaver.

Building a Virtual School Library

Before considering the design of your own virtual school library, it is worth visiting others, noting which services and information would be useful for your students and the elements of design that might work best. Below is a list of virtual school libraries I would recommend visiting:

Elementary Schools:
Chestnut Hill School, Cold Spring School, Parkcrest Elementary School, Grandview Elementary, John Newberry Elementary, Polson Elementary Library, Columbus School, and Latimer Road Elementary.

Middle and High Schools:
Pioneer Middle School, Esquimalt High School, Walter Johnson High School, New Trier High School, Prince of Wales Secondary School, and M.E. LaZerte High School.

The Singapore American School is an example of an international school’s virtual library.

Some Resources to Consult Before Building a Virtual School Library

Carol Collier Kuhlthau was providing direction for virtual libraries in 1996 with her book: The Virtual School Library: Gateways to the Information Superhighway. An excellent up-to-date resource is Your Library Goes Virtual by Audrey Church (2007). Church’s book provides a comprehensive description of the various components of a virtual library and provides many examples of sites that can be included.

The digital school library: A world-wide development and a fascinating challenge by David Loertscher (2003), is a journal article which identifies the virtual library as the digital hub of the school, a nurturing environment with customization for every student- consisting of the core collection, the curriculum collection and the elastic collection.

M. A. Anderson, in Your media program's web presence: A tool for advocacy and marketing, outlines the ways a school library Web site can be used as an advocacy tool. She suggests including school hours, contacts, your mission statement and your monthly report on your website. Anderson also recommends providing information on your website about your school’s reading program and the role of the Teacher-Librarian, including examples of collaboration as ways to advocate for your school library.

Clyde’s article, A strategic planning approach to web site management, outlines steps involved in creating and maintaining a web site, using a strategic planning approach. The stages of the process are outlined, including identification of goals, analysis of user needs, selection of content to be included, developing content, navigational aids and visual design of the site. Clyde examines HTML coding or use of page development software and mounting the completed pages on a web server. She also looks at publicity and promotion and site maintenance. Clyde also outlines criteria used by the IASL/Concord School Library Web Page of the Year Award. More information from Clyde is available in Quality web sites for education, which identifies several educational web sites, including AskEric, ACER and SLO. These sights would be useful for teacher-librarians in their planning with teachers and administrators and might provide valuable resources for professional development. There are numerous sites that include searchable databases, classified collections of curriculum resources and news and current information services in the field of education.

David Warlick in his article, Plan it. Design it. Build it. Put your web site to work, suggests examining the goal of a web site using a problem-solution approach. He emphasizes that one of the reasons to have a web site is to improve one’s ability to do their job. He describes strategies, tips and directions for improving school and classroom web sites, suggesting the web site designer take a close look at the audience. He suggests designing for scanning, clarity and impact and explores using both HTML and customized templates. Warlick provides more tips Building Web Sites That Work for Your Media Center. These include examining the audience and knowing what you want the website to do for you and for them. Warlick takes a close look at what to consider for content, format, design, media and layout. The content and layout tips are excellent.

Why are Virtual Libraries Important?

The 2002 PEW Internet & American Life Project report, The Digital Disconnect: The Widening Gap Between Internet-Savvy Students and their Schools confirms that today's middle and high school students use the Internet heavily, stating that "Virtually all use the Internet to do research to help them write papers or complete class work or homework assignments ... as virtual textbook and reference library. ... For the most part, students' educational use of the Internet occurs outside of the school day, outside of the school building, outside the direction of their teachers."

Audrey Church in his article Virtual school libraries-the time is now (2005) states
“If we are to help students become information-literate-critical assessors, evaluators, and users of information-we have to meet them on the Web and provide library service and instruction online, at the point of need.” He provides us with two scenarios of students, one of which has access to a virtual school library.

Scenario 1: Brandon realizes that his biology research project on genetics is due tomorrow. It is Sunday evening, 6 p.m. No problem! He logs on to the Internet, opens his Web browser, does a quick Google search on genetics, prints out information from a few dot-com sites, and he is good to go.

Scenario 2: Brandon realizes that his biology research project on genetics is due tomorrow. It is Sunday evening, 6 p.m. No problem! He logs on to the Internet, opens his Web browser, goes to his school library Web site, and clicks on the pathfinder created collaboratively by his library media specialist and classroom teacher. Using their suggestions, he finds basic information in an encyclopedia through Grolier Online, and journal articles and newsletters from the SIRS Knowledge Source and Infotrac Student Edition. Through the library's online catalog, he reads portions of a few Follett e-books on genetics. To finish off his research, he visits a couple of the Web sites suggested in the pathfinder. Works cited? Referring to the works cited section of the school library Web site, he soon has his references listed in complete MLA format.

If we want students to use the school library as Brandon does in Scenario 2, we need to make it available to them when and where they need it (which is often at home, outside library hours) and we need to provide the resources they are looking for. A well constructed virtual school library will compete with the convenience of search engines like Google and what’s more, it will offer guidance to students, facilitating the educational goal of information literacy.

What is a Virtual Library?

Until recently, my understanding of this concept was based on being able to access a library’s OPAC from my home computer to search for, reserve and renew books. This saved hours of my time and I was thrilled with the convenience. Now, as I work on courses in an online distance learning program, I have learned that I can also search for resources, including databases, remotely, through the virtual library at the University of Alberta. Virtual libraries in universities have levelled the academic playing field. As long as a registered student has a computer with an internet connection, they have access to materials in the university library, whether they are in Anchorage, Sioux Lookout, Burns Lake or in the city where the university is located.

More that just access, many virtual libraries offer services a real librarian might typically offer, like citation guides, copyright information, library cards and questions answered (via instant messaging or email). Joyce Valenza’s Springfield Township High School virtual library (outstanding in its field of virtual school libraries) offers a virtual tour, extensive links for students and teachers, online lessons, a list of pathfinders (including one called College Search) as well as access to the library catalogue and databases.

Many schools have library websites, designed to promote library events and give information about library hours, staff and programs. Some of these websites are also portals into the school’s virtual library, where resources can be accessed and library services and instruction are available online, 24/7.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Storing and Downloading a Podcast

Some blog software like Movable Type, WordPress, and Manila have automatic support for MP3 attachments. As I am using Blogger, which does not allow you to add the MP3 file automatically, so I chose to use, which provides free storage for videos, audio files, photos text or software. This was not easy. I spent an entire evening trying to upload my MP3 file and then download it to my blog. I think my podcast is somewhere in cyberspace now, hopefully on, but it doesn’t seem to want to be a part of the blog. I will look at it again tomorrow with fresh (uncrossed) eyes.

Trying Again

It is Will Richardson who rescues me again! Instead of trying to copy the HTML code onto my blog post (as OurMedia suggests), I copied and pasted the URL (like Richardson suggests) and on the second try, it WORKED. (Huge sigh of relief). If I were to do this with students, it would be worth using Wordpress for my blog, just so I don’t have to go through this process everytime I want to post a podcast. I would say learning about podcasts and subscribing to them was easy but learning to make a podcast is clearly more complex. I will need more time to master this Web 2.0 tool and certainly must invest more time in order to feel comfortable enough to use this tool with my students.

Making a Podcast

To prepare myself for making my first podcast, I skimmed through PoducateMe - Practical Solutions for Podcasting in Education, an extensive and detailed 192 page resource. At first glance, this resource was daunting, partly because of its volume but also due to its technical language. I think this will be a very helpful resource to come back to when I have more time. I also looked at Eric Rice’s blog entry: How to build a 10 minute podcast. Rice claims that “as a society, people have become conditioned over generations to expect certain patterns in radio-like content” so he has created guidelines for producing short, organized shows that can help you either get started in podcasting or organize your existing podcast into manageable, predictable chunks. Rice provides some good ideas around structure to keep in mind for the future. Both of these are great resources but with the time crunch of these assignments I need something a little more basic, so I have returned to my favourite resource for Web 2.0 tools, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and other Web 2.0 Tools for Classrooms, by Will Richardson. Richardson gives instructions for making your first podcast in four pages of relatively clear instructions dotted with useful suggestions. At Richardson’s suggestion, I downloaded Audacity to create the MP3 file and then I spent a little time looking at the wiki Creating a simple voice and music podcast with audacity.

Going back to Richarson’s list of what one needs to make a podcast, I had the digital audio recorder that can create an MP3 file and the blog but still needed to think of something to say. I also needed to find a microphone and space on a server to host the file. I decided to start with reading a story as this is what I would like my students to do. I found St. Valentine’s Story on the internet and practiced reading it a couple of times. I made a few recordings without the microphone just to practice using Audacity and found I was satisfied with the sound, so didn’t bother searching out the microphone. Using Audacity was as simple as pressing record and stop. I used the tools to take out pauses, employing Richardson’s book as a guide. I tried to follow Richardson’s instructions to get music to add to my podcast by visiting Wikimedia Commons, but I could not export the music I wanted to Audacity. I finally gave up and decided to leave the story without music for now. I saved the file and remembered to export it as an MP3 file (located under the File menu), using yet another open-source software program called LAME, which is Audacity’s MP3 encoder. When I have a little more time, I will take another look at Creating a simple voice and music podcast with audacity and PoducateMe for tips on enhancing a podcast. For now, I need to focus on finding the server space and downloading the podcast to my blog.

Using Podcasts in Schools

Something I would like to try with students is my school is using podcasts to enhance reading skills. Students could practice reading stories with fluency and expression in preparation for reading them on a podcast. Both parents and other students (including younger students) could then listen to the podcasts. The podcast-producing students and their teacher’s could use the podcasts to evaluate students’ fluency and expression. These podcasts could be included in e-portfolios. Once comfortable with the podcast format, students could progress to writing short stories, poems or skits to podcast for a similar audience.
I love the idea of using podcasts to make broadcasts (like Radio Willow Web) of what is happening in the school, not only showcasing student work but helping students to develop oral presentation skills.
Think of the paper that could be saved by making the school newsletter available on a podcast! Parents could “listen” to the school news while preparing dinner or driving. Parent Advisory Council meetings could be made available via podcast for parents who are unable to attend regular meetings. Band or music performances could also be podcasted for self-evaluation, in lieu of sending performance tapes for engagements, or for parents who miss performances. Language teachers could make podcasts of practice lessons. Podcast links on research topics could be posted on the school’s library website along with other research links for particular classes or grades.
Podcasting is a valuable tool to accommodate different learning styles. Students who find text-based resources challenging would benefit from being able to access information in an auditory mode. Using iPods to do research could be a great motivational tool! Perhaps in a few years, our school supply list will include a set of personal earphones to be used with school iPods.

Subscribing to Podcasts

As I mentioned in my previous post, finding podcasts is relatively easy and there are thousands from which to choose. I am learning that I can not only listen to or watch podcasts on my computer but I can also download and save the podcast file on my computer and then play it using iTunes or Windows Media Player. Once the file is downloaded, it can be transferred to my iPod so that I can listen to what I want, when and where I want! What’s more, I can subscribe to podcasts through RSS podcast feeds, like Juice, Doppler and iTunes.
As an alternative to iTunes for subscribing to podcasts, Will Richardson recommends downloading the ipodder client by visiting (which turned out to be a dead site). It seems ipodder has been replaced by Juice - so I decided to give Juice a try. This was very frustrating as my security software kept giving me warnings during the download. I aborted the first attempt and then decided to take the risk and installed the Juice program after all. With the download complete, I copied the URL of the desired podcast subscription into Juice, which attempted the download, with more warnings about the “unsecure source”. I panicked and uninstalled Juice. It was back to iTunes for me.

Subscribing to podcasts on iTunes was very user-friendly. I simply went to iTunes on my computer and clicked on the Podcast link from the source list on the side menu. At the bottom of the page, I clicked on Podcast directory and then I was able to browse through different podcasts in different categories. When I found a podcast for which I wanted a subscription, I clicked on the Subscribe button and it appeared in downloads and was soon on the list under podcasts. On the podcast page, under the settings button, I can decide how often I want my iTunes to check for updates. Now I can listen to my favourite CBC radio programs anywhere, anytime.

What are Podcasts and Where Can I Find Them?

When I first looked at Valenza’s Manifesto for a 21st Century Librarian, podcast was a term I had heard but only vaguely understood. I have since learned that podcasts are audio or video media files that are made available on the Internet, like a radio show or a video (sometimes called a vodcast) that you can listen to or watch on demand, either on your computer or on a portable media player. A podcast is distinguished from other digital media formats by the fact that it can be subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added, using a podcast aggregator.
According to Will Richardson, anyone equipped with a microphone, a digital audio recorder that can create an MP3 file, space on a server to host the file, a blog and something to say can make a podcast. I have to admit, it doesn’t sound that easy to me.
Podcasts are often regular people talking about things that interest them however, major broadcasting organizations like the CBC are making many of their programs available in podcast format. I was surprised at how many professional and amateur podcasts are available, absolutely free. In the iTunes podcast directory there are podcasts on everything from learning to speak French to doing Yoga. In’s podcast listings, I found podcasts about radio shows, newspaper and magazine-produced audio, museums, writers, art galleries and more. I am interested in subscribing to a couple of podcasts from the CBC Podcasts, like Between the Covers and The Current, as I am often busy when the live broadcasts are happening. Podcastalley has links to several education-related shows (of varying quality) and Education Podcast Network has numerous ideas for classroom use of podcasting. I could easily get carried away, browsing through podcasts, but must return to learning how to subscribe to them!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Using Social-Bookmarking in Schools

Like many of the web 2.0 tools, social bookmarking can be used to enhance learning in today’s classrooms. I liked this web2tutorial on social-bookmarking, presented on a wiki, which includes some good examples of educational benefits and classroom applications. It also contains a list of real-world teachers’ bookmarks.

All Together Now, by Donna DesRoches (2007) looks at how librarians can use social-bookmarking tools, offering specific examples of working collaboratively with a theatre arts teacher, a biology class and a health teacher.

The article Identifying Key Research Issues, points to the The International Society for Technology in Education’s Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technology (CARET), which says technology improves student learning when it directly supports curriculum objectives, provides opportunities for student collaboration, adjusts for student ability and prior experience, is integrated into the typical instructional day and provides opportunities for students to design and implement projects that extend beyond the curriculum. The technology of social-bookmarking could be used in ways that would meet all of these critieria.

As well as providing students with a way to organize and access what they find useful on the web, social-bookmarking could be used for teachers to automatically send information to their students. Teachers could set up a folder on Furl for a subject they are teaching. If their students subscribed to an RSS of that folder, they would automatically receive all the links (and the comments on those links) that the teacher adds to the folder. This system could also be used to individualize learning by having separate folders for each student, sending them links and comments or questions, particularly suited to their area of study. If students are doing their work on a blog, teachers could tag students’ best work in a folder (with a unique tag) for parents to search on the social-bookmarking site. Students could also save links to a class archive (with a shared password). Teachers would be able to see if all students are participating. The list of links would be useful not only for research but for teaching critical thinking in evaluating the resources. Perhaps the evaluated list could be exported to become part of a pathfinder on that topic.

I see many uses for social-bookmarking in teacher collaboration. Saving, tagging and sharing sites with colleagues will not only make our jobs easier in terms of access to resources but will also evoke professional conversations, adding to a culture of learning in our schools where we move from isolationism to collaboration.

Folksonomies vs. Taxonomy

When we use social bookmarking services, we are helping to create a new way of organizing information to be used for research. In my cataloguing course we are learning about the importance of standard rules for organization to ensure access, yet social bookmarking is, as Richardson says, “run by millions of amateurs with no real training in classification”. There is clearly great potential for chaos in this kind of organization, although some argue that tagging allows us to see the way others interpret the information we are using, that participation is easy and that tagging data is helpful as new ways to find information. Folksonomies Tap People Power is a short but informative article about folksonomies created by tagging.

Information Overload?

Will Richardson discusses information overload in blog post on tagged vs. trusted sources. Just when it seems like a social-bookmarking service is your answer to information overload, it becomes clear that subscibing to RSS feeds on tags could become another way to add to this overload! Richardson suggests subscribing to specific sources and even specific tags from those sources, to avoid spam and receiving more information than you can possibly read. I found it amusing (and a little frightening) that Richardson backs up his bookmarks in his bloglines by subscribing to his own Jots feed! Both Alan November and Will Richardson have been won over by Jots. One more thing for me to explore at a later date.

Making It Social

After looking into social-bookmarking and setting up both Furl and accounts, I started wondering about the social aspect. This type of bookmarking is called social because your bookmarks can be made public to benefit other people, just as you can access the bookmarks of others for your benefit. Social-bookmarking services take all of the entries that are tagged (or keyworded) in the same way, connects them and then connects the people that made the tags. With, it is as easy as typing in, where the final word (in this case, informationliteracy) is your search term. In doing this I came across articles saved by folks I consider to be leaders in this field (that’s you Jennifer and Joanne!) and chose to save a couple of those URLs myself. I also found articles saved by Joanne using the Furl search box. Will Richardson, in his book, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, says “social bookmarking sites complete the circle: RSS lets us read and connect with what others write; now we can read and connect with what they read as well.”

Choosing a Social-Bookmarking Tool

Social Bookmarking Tools (I) A General Review, presents many of the social bookmarking tools and examines the history of social bookmarking. This paper also looks at an emerging new class of tools, like Connotea, that cater more to the academic communities and that store not only user-supplied tags, but also structured citation metadata terms.
Furl is another social-bookmarking site that is free, owned by Looksmart. It has some useful features that does not. Furl saves a snapshot of the entire page, not just a link, which would be helpful for those times when links no longer work! Furl organizes by keywords rather than tags and gives you the added option of building topic folders. Furl gives you several ways to find out what other people are saving. When you click to see your saved page, you can see a list of others who have also saved that page. Then you can click on any of those names to be taken to a page of links saved by that person. While some people might be uncomfortable with this idea, I think it has tremendous potential when is comes to doing research. Think of how much easier it would be to find research articles when you find others who might be researching the same thing! You can access their folders to see if anything there is of interest to you. Furl even allows to you subcribe to a person’s folder by simply clicking on the RSS icon inside the folder and copyping the address that comes up into your Blog Aggregator. I found that Furl was less-user friendly than in the set-up but I like the additional features it has to offer.

My Introduction to Social-Bookmarking

I first heard the term “social-bookmarking” about six months ago. I found a simple informative video by Lee Lefever of the Commoncraft Show, called Social Bookmarking in Plain English which explained that social bookmarking is a new way to bookmark, using a website instead of your browser for storage, organizing your bookmarks with tags and giving you access to the sites that other people tag. With over 15 billion webpages on the internet, this kind of tool sounded appealing just to keep track of all the information I might need or want as I search the web.

I followed the instructions on the CommonCraft Show video and went to to add two buttons to my browser, one being a tag button and the other a shortcut to the website. After finding a website I wanted to save, I simply clicked on the tag button, assigned a couple of tags (keywords or category labels) and hit “Save”. It couldn’t have been simpler.

I found myself wishing I had discovered this tool at the beginning of my courses to organize all those sites I had come across. No longer will I need to copy URL’s and paste them into folders or weed through my Internet Explorer’s list of favourites. Now I can access my favourites from any computer. I quickly began spreading the word and moving the bookmarks on my browser to the website.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Blog 2 Video-Sharing Sites

In researching for this blog entry, I have come to realize the additional educational benefits of creating videos with students and receiving comments on those videos from a global audience. The article on Film School from Edutopia illustrates many educational reasons for creating videos in the school environment.

I can also see using video-sharing sites to encourage students to evaluate videos. Using a variety of videos selected from various sites, students could not only learn to assess validity of content but could also evaluate videos for their artistic merit. In doing this, students could be encouraged to establish a list of criteria to be used in evaluating their own videos.

Marlene Asselin (2005) in her study entitled "Teaching Information Skills in the Information Age: An Examination of Trends in the Middle Grades" found grade 6 and 7 teachers' and teacher-librarians' perspectives suggest a serious need for information literacy instruction to go beyond the basic level of accessing, locating and selecting information, to critically evaluating resources (especially digital and internet resources). With the definition of information literacy expanding to include multiple forms of literacy beyond the printed text, it is important we teach critical literacies when working with students as they use video to access or share information.

I wanted to learn how to post a video on YouTube and was surprised to find it wasn’t difficult at all. I simply signed up, confirmed my email address and selected Upload. From there I was able to select a video from My Pictures on my computer and upload it, giving it a title and comments. My video (chosen from what was readily available) was uploaded with the subject’s permission, of course! What I learned from this trial is how easy it would be to videotape students, or have them create videotapes and upload them (with the required permission) to share with parents, peers or anyone interested in the topic. I know my students would look forward to and benefit from the interaction they could have with their audience. Simple and amazing!

Blog 2 Video-Sharing Sites

Okay, enough about the risks and the potential for misuse with video-sharing sites. USA today provides an excellent overview of different video sharing sites, including YouTube, Vimeo, Sharkle, Clipshack and Google video.

I personally find YouTube to be my favourite of these sites. I am attracted by the volume of videos and by how easy it is to search and select video clips. Although there are many clips I would not want my primary students to stumble upon, I can search and tag the ones that are useful. School Tube and TeacherTube are teacher approved, educational video-sharing sites, providing carefully screened video-sharing. Although the lesson ideas with these sites make them attractive, I find the selection on these sites, especially SchoolTube, is limited.

Here are a couple of clips from YouTube (not on TeacherTube) that I showed my grade ones yesterday (we are just finishing a mini-research unit on groundhogs). This was such an easy way to show my students live groundhogs vs. those in a picture book.

I can imagine using these cell biology clips with older students.

Obviously the choices on YouTube are plentiful. What I like is how easy it is to insert a video clip into any lesson (especially when you have access to an LCD projector attached to a computer) to extend information and appeal to different learning styles. When teachers collaborate and share their video clip files, it all becomes even more convenient and effective.

Although I prefer YouTube for selection when showing videos, I think TeacherTube is onto something with the way you can add supporting comments to your videos. The TeacherTube Blog has many ideas for getting students to interact with the community using video. I also think TeacherTube would be my choice for uploading videos my students create, as I prefer the intended audience.

Image Sharing and the Flip-side of Copyright

Clearly we must also be very aware that anything we upload on the internet in terms of pictures or video has the potential to used by others (albeit illegally) for financial gain. The CBC Editor’s Choice Podcast for January 25th (“That's MY dog on the TV!”), illustrates the flip-side of copyright where Tracey Gaughran-Perez’s photo of her pug, Truman, (not designated public) was used on FOX TV without her permission. Tracey’s husband happened to see the photo on the TV. This makes me think how easily the same thing could happen (likely without my knowledge) to videos I upload to video-sharing sites.

Blog 2- Video-Sharing Sites

My son was on YouTube last year. A colleague told me. He was singing in a band that had performed at his high school where someone in the audience had videotaped the performance. The owner of the video camera posted the recording without asking/telling the band members. While this turned out to be a great way for us to see his band perform and to share it with friends and family, it made me look at video-cameras differently.

Imagine a different scenario. There is a fight on the school grounds. Someone pulls out their cell phone and the next day, everyone in the school is watching the fight on YouTube. Imagine this same event just ten years ago. How has YouTube changed the way conflict arises and is resolved on our schools?

Growing Up Online, certainly demonstrates the power of YouTube to broadcast student behaviour and provoke reaction. I have concerns about the way video-sharing sites like YouTube can sensationalize and as a result, perhaps encourage risky behaviour in teens. Clearly, this potential needs to be part of our internet education for students.

Are we always on stage? Last fall, at a professional meeting, we received a warning about the dangers of YouTube for teachers. With such easy access to video sharing, your private life suddenly has the potential to become public whenever a digital camera, video-camera or cell phone is present. YouTube and other video-sharing sights can be highly entertaining and can be an excellent tool to promote or share experiences but one must be aware of the potential this type of tool has to destroy reputations and to promote negative and destructive points of view.