The goal of TeacherTube is to provide an online community for sharing instructional videos. They seek to fill a need for a more educationally focused, safe venue for teachers, schools, and home learners.
Officially launched on March 6, 2007, TeacherTube is a site providing anytime, anywhere professional development with teachers teaching teachers. As well, TeacherTube is a site where teachers can post videos designed for students to view in order to learn a concept or skill.
TeacherTube was the idea of Jason Smith, a 15-year veteran educator. Jason has been a teacher, coach, campus administrator and district administrator in public schools. He asked the question, "Why can't teachers, students, and schools utilize the power of the read/write web for learning?" To overcome barriers, he decided to just create a site and get started trying to help.
He turned to his brother, Adam, who is a younger, digital native, with technical skills. Adam used his skills to develop the site and found a web host. Soon, Jason's wife, Jodie, joined the team to start populating the site with videos and help improve the communication. She too has 14 years of experience in education as a classroom teacher, campus technology integrator, and district curriculum coordinator.
We recently had a chance to spend some time with Jason Smith:
SVN: How does a teacher or school become a member of TeacherTube?
Simply go to TeacherTube.com. Click the "Free Sign Up!" link in the top right corner of Home Page. Sign up takes less than a minute to complete. You will be sent a confirmation email and your done.
SVN: How does the TeacherTube process work? Is it easy to become a registered user?
To become a registered user once you complete the "Free Sign Up!" information you are registered. Currently, TeacherTube is designed to be a community for professional educators and not necessarily school systems.
However, the TeacherTube community members have been asking TeacherTube to design software to allow teachers, campuses and/or entire school systems to have their own customized version of TeacherTube so that they can have students using Web 2.0 technologies in a safe and secure environment. We are currently working on this solution and hope to release this new product called "MySite" in March or April of 2009. Our goal at TeacherTube is to always keep our technology free. Therefore, TeacherTube MySite will be free. Although some of the school systems we are working with have requested not to have any type of advertising, we are creating a subscription model for these school systems. We have not determined the subscription cost for MySite at this time.
SVN: We have heard that you are now encouraging students to upload content? How does this process work?
We do not encourage students to upload content to TeacherTube.com. TeacherTube is a community of educators for educators. However, we have had teachers share with us some great work that students have created. So, we created a Channel just for this. The student work can be found on the Channel page titled "Student Products". We do ask that the students' teacher upload the student products to the channel.
Once TeacherTube MySite is available, teachers, campuses or school systems will have total control of the content, membership and site customization.
SVN: Is content monitored? There is so much controversy around YouTube, how are students and teachers protected?
Yes, all content is monitored by community members and TeacherTube staff. At any time a TeacherTube community member can flag any content. TeacherTube is immediately notified. Then our staff will determine if the content is appropriate.
We determine appropriateness by two simple filter questions. 1). Does the content promote professional growth for educators? and/or 2). Can the content be used for instructional purposes with students? If the content does not meet these standards, we remove it immediately. As well, our staff is constantly reviewing new content and applying our filter questions.
SVN: Can you tell us about the upload process? Easy for the technically challenged?
To upload a new video simply log in. Click the "Upload" link in the top right hand corner under the Search Bar. Then we have a simple 2 step process to upload your video. We believe that the use of this process and the ease to navigate throughout TeacherTube is the reason for our success.
SVN: Do you keep a copy of the original material? Can it be downloaded?
SVN: Is there a charge to subscribe to TeacherTube?
Absolutely free and always will be.
For more information, or just to visit TeacherTube go to www.teachertube.com