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Teacher Tube is designed to look like the popular website You Tube.
The red and black colours and even the logo are in the same style. Unlike video sharing You Tube, which was launched in 2005, Teacher Tube started in 2007. The goal of the site is to “provide an online community for sharing instructional videos.” The site also states:
“We seek to fill a need for a more educationally focused, safe venue for teachers, schools, and home learners. It is a site to provide anytime, anywhere professional development with teachers teaching teachers. As well, it is a site where teachers can post videos designed for students to view in order to learn a concept or skill.”
It is free for all users, but to upload videos and comment you must be registered, which is also free. Members are encouraged to share educationally related videos. As a member you are also encouraged to make useful and constructive comments about content and use the rating system to help all members of the Teacher Tube community. There is a site search facility.
The site is divided into Home, Videos, Docs, Audios, Photos, Groups, Classrooms and Collections. There is the ability to share materials through other social networking sites such as FaceBook, Twitter and Pinterest, and also by email.
Videos Cover Many Areas of Education, Not Only ESL Specific
Within the Videos section, you are given a breakdown of further options, including Teacher Tube Tutorials, Fine Arts, Math, Health and Physical Education, History and Social Studies, Professional Development, Reading, Science, Social Sciences, Special Education, Student Products, World Languages, Writing, Elementary, Middle School, High School. College and University, Career and Technology Information, [Non]profit Channel, Grade Results, Adora’s Flying Fingers and NASA Ares. When clicking on an option, you are able to sort videos by recent, viewed, featured and top rated. This is handy if you are looking for those videos that others have found particularly useful and interesting. You can use these videos in your classroom to illustrate certain points to your students, set homework to watch a video for a class discussion, direct students to watch a video in their own time to help with particular areas and other purposes.
Many Suggested Activities Tests and Materials
Within the Docs section you can find materials that are useful for in the classroom. You will probably need to spend a fair amount of time searching for relevant documents, but if you do spend a bit of time to look you will likely find something useful.
Good Range of Audio Resources
The Audios section is good for if you want to use listening material in your class but do not have the facilities to show a video. Audio can be used for class activities, perhaps comprehension exercises, for students to listen to other accents, and a whole host of other ways. You can also refer students to audio exercises to listen to for homework, and providing the link to the specific audio file means it is easy for students to listen to the correct file.
Finding Relevant Material Can be Time Consuming
Although there are lots of useful videos, audio files and documents on Teacher Tube, finding something useful amongst all the files can be more time consuming than you intend. When time is at a stretch, or you need something quite quickly, this is perhaps not the best site to use.
As with many free sites, the presence of advertising can be a bit distracting and annoying.
Some Irrelevant Sections
In my opinion, I do not really think the section on photos is particularly useful for in the ESL classroom or otherwise. It does not detract from the site, I just don’t really see this as being useful for any teacher.
Groups Are Not Used
There is a plethora of groups for teachers to join and share ideas. It appears that it is easy to set up a group, but that then nobody joins the groups. It would be better perhaps if there were lass groups, perhaps with general themes rather than being highly specific, which may encourage more users to join and participate.
Classrooms Are Not Well Used
As with the groups, the classrooms are not utilised. There are no top rated classrooms. There are also no featured classrooms. The overwhelming majority of items in this section have no members. There seem to be several areas of the site that are not used by members, the classroom section being one of them. These facilities could be so much better than they are with a bit more control. I think there should be restrictions on members setting up new classrooms and groups. If they are not used, maybe there should be a site owner who routinely reviews and removes unused areas to prevent needless clutter.
In summary, the site is very much like You Tube, with the exception that all materials are deemed to be related to education, teaching and learning in some way. The site search does make it a bit easier to locate relevant material,, although in my opinion this site is not very easy to use. Although there are many categories to choose between, the amount of videos, documents and audio clips can be very overwhelming. Also, should you wish you use a clip you will need to watch it through in its entirety to check the content and quality. Although I think the site’s intentions are good, I feel that there are many areas that are just not used, leading to the site looking junked and cluttered, and I personally feel that there are much better resources available on line for ESL teachers. If you have the patience and time though, with so many materials available, you will surely find something relevant to your needs on the site.
Do you find it quick to locate materials on Teacher Tube?
How efficient do you find this site? What tips would you share with others?
This is a guest review by an independent author. This review reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of BusyTeacher.org as a publication.