It is pretty much a no-brainer for me to go to the Internet as part of the lessons I develop.
But what is not a no-brainer is the risk of what students could find online. I worry less about students going to the wrong White House site…that is too easy.
For me, the daily risk is when I post a YouTube video or post said video that are , to quote the Ninth Doctor, fan-tas-tic, but the suggested videos are anything but.
Using video and the like means a significantly increased risk that something a bit risqué is going to make an appearance. Although YouTube does control overly adult content, the close enough category is enough to get a parent phone call or e-mail.
I cannot control what happens outside of my classroom, but in my classroom, and in the hallways of our school (Acceptable Use Policy).
There are several ways to avoid this increasing problem.
However, first and foremost, review a video before using it. Let me say this again.
Review a video before using it!
Second, choose wisely: Michael Miller, in his article Best Practices for using video in the classroom, states this:
“Evaluate video relative to student, university, and community standards. Might students see it as offensive, disparaging, or otherwise objectionable? Note: your point in using it may be exactly to challenge or provoke. However, be aware of possible fall-out. If potential is high that students will be disturbed, it’s crucial to provide meaningful pre-showing discussion, placing the video in learning context.”
Third, if showing in class, put a safety on the YouTube videos (this is at the bottom of the YouTube page). This will help reduce the number of potentially problematic videos out there.
For more assistance here: http://www.guidingtech.com/5303/youtube-safety-block-adult-videos/
Fourth, if making your own videos (yes, suggested videos still show up at the end of the ones we post on YouTube), embed them (this is a problem with WordPress.com sites, by the way), or better yet, use Schoology or a similar LMS to post YouTube videos. If one clicks off the recommended videos (note the graphic), recommended videos do not show, and the video is controlled by the teacher, not a random entity.
Here’s how to do this:
Another way is to simply use Teacher Tube, but in my experience, this is still a limited resource, especially at the secondary level.
Finally, if students do videos for presentations, watch them first before allowing them to be used in class. I have had a couple incidents of either language or dress code violation (this is something to make consider, by the way, when students do student projects). Luckily the dress code was not “job scary”, but still something a teacher would rather not have to explain with an administrator.
(Suggestion: Don’t forget to try Vimeo as well, but remember, be safe!)