Tuesday, August 18, 2015

De-constructing YouTube: Channels, subscriptions, and playlists

As a New York City suburbanite of the '70's, I grew up with 7 channels on my TV - three were the major networks of ABC, NBC, and CBS, three were local  channels that carried sports (go Mets!) or syndicated reruns (my extensive knowledge of Hogan's Heroes came in handy just this month!), and one was the PBS channel where I faithfully watched Mr. Roger's Neighborhood every afternoon.

The current count of YouTube channels?  505,000,000, according to a 2012 Wired article, and I'm sure that number has increased exponentially.  Check out By the Numbers: 120 amazing YouTube statistics for more jaw-dropping stats.  Here's just one - percentage of internet users age 14-17 that use YouTube - 81.9%  So it's comprehensive, overwhelming, and not going away anytime soon - may as well learn a little bit more about it and make it work for you!

One of my strategies for "working" YouTube is to find channels that I can subscribe to.  Just like TV channels that feature sports or music or history, YouTube channels often have a particular focus and style.  Once I subscribe to the channel, I can go back to it and see what new videos they have posted - I can even get them to email me alerts.
Here are a couple you might like to check out - I'll show you in the tech session how to subscribe and follow a channel.
All Things Animals
Aerial America
Smart Girls  (I particularly liked the Smart Girls of the World series)
Joyce Ostertag
Benchmark School  (Yes, both Benchmark and I have channels!
Image result for ted ed

Another strategy for mastering YouTube is to create playlists.  A playlist is basically a file folder that holds the links to whatever videos you want to associate with that playlist.   I create playlists for most subjects I teach, for example, my insect playlist or my recently created grammar playlist or my tech for teachers playlist.  I'll show you how to create and add to playlists on YouTube as well, so you don't lose track of those great videos you discover.

Of course, there's a dark side to YouTube - it's not specifically for kids, and some material is definitely not appropriate.  So we'll also talk about how to use YouTube material in a way that minimizes these problems.

So I hope to see you there at the session!  In the meantime, any other channels to recommend?

P.S.  Or you can catch up on Hogan's Heroes - YouTube has all the episodes!

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