YouTube: The Power of a Playlist

The idea behind this blog post is to demonstrate:

  • How you can use YouTube in the classroom
  • How the "Power of a Playlist" can change the way in which we teach and increase our students' engagement in learning
  • How you can use such a powerful learning tool, with relative ease...

Pictured here with Prof. J. Hattie
after winning a signed copy of his
latest book :) 
Updated: 5th March
After listening to a fantastic and inspiring keynote speech from Professor John Hattie, the "power of a playlist" required an update!  During Prof. J. Hattie's address, he talked us through his latest findings and reiterated previous evidence: what works and what doesn't.  One thing was clear from his time in front of us 'except the evidence' he talked about the reasons underpinning these influences.

"Music in the classroom has very little effect on student learning:  Simply putting music in the background is pointless.' It is just 'white noise'" (J. Hattie, 2016).

Thanks, Professor Hattie .... Enter....The Power of a Playlist with Mr Towse revamped!

Fun and engaging videos

Often we browse the internet looking for that 'perfect' stimulus for tomorrow's lesson.  Choosing the right video can enhance many a lesson.  Visual and highly entertaining.  Videos can engage the learner simply because it is on YouTube.  Carefully written questions coupled with
creative and engaging activities will enable students to deepen their learning.

We all learn in different ways.  We are not necessarily a visual or auditory learner nor are we kinesthetic! In fact, "learning styles have very little effect on learning," however, providing video alternatives to the reading homework could pay off for students (when used effectively and with purpose). You are able to create playlists, either to supplement previously provided material or as an extension. A playlist puts it all into an easy, well-organized format for student consumption.

Engage your students in digital dialogue.  Have them do something with the music or videos and don't just provide white noise!

Some other great ways to spark learner interest and keep students engaged...
  • Spark a lively discussion via student questions:
    •  Is it a boy or a girl?
    • Why does the teenager start the music video on the floor?
    • Is the teenager in school, hospital or at home?
    • What has caused the scattered papers on the floor?
  • Student paced learning
    • Students are able to consolidate learning at their own pace.  Review many times, even after the lesson is over.  Build a deeper understanding and develop a sense of independence about a task, topic or concept.
  • Embed a YouTube Video into a Google Form for instant feedback.  I was able to create and use this particular form with grade five.  
    • Flip your classroom
      • The lesson does not end simply because it's 3:20 and the school bell rang.
        • Record the start of a unit lesson or a summative assessment and save them for future viewing or stream live to YouTube using Google Hangout Air.  If you have a student home sick, YouTube makes it easy to send the link or embed to a blog.
I would love to hear how you are using YouTube in your classroom.  Leave a comment or tweet me! +Mr Towse 

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