This morning I finally got a chance to catch up on my Twitter feeds and look at some articles through Zite app. I've been pretty lax so far this summer on keeping up on my PLN but then again, it is summer and a break can be good for recharging the mind. After a nice relaxing morning of looking through my feeds and various articles and sipping my green tea frap, I took a shower which as everyone knows is a great time for the mind really digest things and then formulate them into ideas and such. Or at least that is the case for me…
This morning was no exception. I found myself rolling several ideas through my head but the one seemed to keep coming up: the educational value of YouTube and the role of the “live” teacher. I've blogged about this before but an article on Zite and a few Tweets really got me thinking about this some more.
I know lots of people will call the majority of things on YouTube crap and admittedly there is a great deal of useless video. Chalk it up to the need to be the next viral video, I guess. But sort through all the mess and some very valuable information and instruction can be had. Yesterday, I got an inkling to take up crocheting again. My mother-in-law started teaching a couple years ago when she lived in town, but she has since moved away and is not easily accessible for lessons. I bought a book to learn how and got to reading it. However, as much as I like to read, I should know that when it comes to learning stuff like this, I'm a hands on type of person. So what did I do? Turned to YouTube to find out how. I found a great series of videos that I will be using to learn this new skill. My son has done the same thing with making paracord bracelets and has even turned it into a little side business. I guess my point is that I don't necessarily need a live person to show me how to do something and can learn it on my own by watching a video.
So, do I actually think YouTube will replace a live teacher or that all learning can be had through watching videos and being self-learners? No but I think what this reiterates is the idea that a live teacher doesn't have to be the initial source for information. It used to be that a teacher was the source of information because access was limited and could be downright difficult to come by. We needed teachers to impart the information. Now, however, we need teachers to help us assimilate that information, discuss, play with, grow it! We need to be able to learn how to network and keep the information we need flowing to us. Teachers can help formulate and ask the right questions to get the information we need and then be able to communicate it and apply it to other learning thus creating knowledge. School/Teacher Librarians fit into this as well and thus there needs to be cooperation between the teachers and the librarians, but that is another soapbox altogether.