Friday, December 23, 2011

YouTube for Teachers

YouTube for Teachers was officially launched last week. This is an effort by YouTube to "to help teachers use educational YouTube videos to educate, engage and inspire their students". Many schools block the main YouTube website, but is a sub-domain that can be set by network administrators to be viewable by students. I had expected that ads and comments be removed, but that does not seem to be the case.

Image link to the
Khan Academy.
There are some excellent Maths videos from the Khan Academy - every Maths teacher in the world should use these both to learn how to use the material to teach the material themselves, and of course to recommend to students that they use them for learning and revision. As I write this post, a staggering 92,138,529 lessons have been delivered by the Khan Academy. Want to learn about simple equations in algebra? Check out this video which not only shows you how, but is explained and illustrated very well. This is a great resource for teachers because they can use the same examples and perhaps improve their own teaching. 

I sense that this could be a breakthrough in the teaching and learning of Maths. We constantly hear about poor maths standards in school leavers, while industry is crying out for graduates with better maths skills (see Skills shortages can be addressed in the Irish Times). We also hear that not all maths teachers have a qualification in maths - in fact according to this recent Press Release from Minister Se├ín Sherlock which quotes a survey that "shows that out of a total of 3,311 teachers teaching maths in 422 schools, 2,198 teachers (66.4%) are fully qualified to do so". My point is that some of the best teachers in the world are putting excellent maths video on YouTube - so why not use this fantastic resource in the classroom? Teachers should have nothing to fear - I don't see the day that a class will consist entirely of watching videos. Students will always need the guiding hand of a good teacher. By embracing YouTube for Teachers, I am convinced that maths standards will improve greatly.

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