Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Beauty of YouTube

I have a love/hate relationship with YouTube. It can be a waste of time, but it is also a great way to learn about things. I would have to rank it up there with Wikipedia as once of my favorite resources. Unfortunately, most of my research topics include pranks, wipe outs, doing cruel things to drunken or sleeping room mates, and science projects with Mentos and Coke.

Despite these shallow topics, there is still a lot of good information too. When I hear about something that happened on TV or in the news, I can just look it up on YouTube to get the scoop without having to watch TV. This has been especially helpful for sports. I love watching the NBA top 10 plays every evening.

The other day my 6 year old was asking me how paper is made. I just typed in "How is paper made" and we watched a video for a few minutes that showed us how. I was glad he asked me because I am too old to be asking that question, but I have always wanted to know for myself. My kids can't believe how old fashioned encyclopedias are and wouldn't imagine using one if they could just look something up on the Internet.

When I tell them how I used to use encyclopedias to copy my reports do learn about topics and research things, they just look at me in disbelief as if I'm telling them a "walk 10 miles to school in the snow" story.  YouTube is also great for looking up vintage TV shows like Dukes of Hazzard, Fantasy Island, Shazam, and The Incredible Hulk, although my kids are yet to be impressed with any of the shows that I watched as a kid. I keep sensing a familiar trend of being disrespected by the younger generation.

YouTube has it's disadvantages too. Sometimes you don't get what you expect when people mislead the content of their video with a bogus title. I also tire of seeing the same featured faces of people who have daily video blogs on YouTube. My biggest pet peeve is clicking on a sports highlight or a title that sounds interesting and then finding out it is a actually a video game clip. On a future post I think I will share some of my all time favorite clips.


Cheeseboy said...

Youtube is definitely a keeper for teachers - for stuff like that paper thing. Although I have to be extra careful about what I show. Sometimes there are ads on the sidebar and other videos that are dangerous for 1st graders to see.

Eric said...

I wonder if there are any YouTube videos of people watching YouTube?

Could it ever possibly be like when you hold up a mirror facing another mirror and there are infinite reflections and light starts to disappear?

Lisa said...

I wonder if the Encyclopedia still exist. I'll Wiki.