Monday, November 30, 2009

Most Teachers Have or Will Download YouTube Videos

Last Friday I posted a survey asking for feedback about how teachers respond to YouTube being blocked by school district filters. As of 6pm EST today, there were 105 responses. Of those 105 respondents, 79 people indicated that YouTube access is denied to students. In most of those cases, YouTube access is also denied to teachers. If YouTube is blocked, the question then becomes how do you, as an educator, respond? In 87 responses, teachers indicated that they have or would download videos using a third party client.

Going into the survey it was my speculation that most teachers who are not allowed to access YouTube at school, will download videos for classroom use. The results of the survey confirm my thinking. Downloading videos from YouTube via a third party client is a violation of YouTube's terms of service. That said, I think the survey results indicate that most teachers feel comfortable skating around that rule for the educational benefit of their students. This raises the question, if so many teachers feel YouTube offers enough educational material to violate the terms of service, why do school districts restrict access to YouTube? Here's one answer to that question that came in the form of a response to the question of downloading YouTube videos:
"No. If YouTube is blocked, and your School Board wants to prepare today's kids for the 1950s, so be it. When they close your library, you gotta ask yourself if you want to work for such people."


One person, John, left a very passionate "no" comment on the actual blog post. John had this to say:
"Most in favor of downloading the videos? Hey teachers, I own a slim-jim. Doesn't give me the "right" to break into your car and take your stuff inside for educational purposes. Do not use 3rd party tools to extract videos from YouTube. Plain and simple. What are you teaching your students? Violate rules, laws, etc. whenever you feel like it? Society spins into chaos if you allow students to take this route and you "model" it for them."

How would you respond to John? One response could be an adaptation of this survey comment justifying the download of YouTube videos:
"yes - I have no problem doing so and feel that such practice is supported by fair use and as long as I don't keep the video archived beyond its instructional purpose."

You can check out all of the survey results here.

If you would like some educational alternatives to YouTube, check out this list.

Update: This conversation has run its course. People are using all caps in their comments which indicates yelling. Therefore, I will be rejecting future comments on this post. Clearly we'll all have to agree to disagree.