The use of YouTube by students is a hot topic in many schools I visit and work in. I am the parent of a couple of young people still at school who regularly use YouTube clips as a source of entertainment, information and education (my son taught himself how to program in JAVA last Christmas from viewing YouTube clips). I am all too aware of the vaguaries of what can be accessed and viewed, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and speak with them regularly about appropriate viewing behaviour etc. – all part of being responsible as a parent in helping them develop as digital citizens, (as opposed to instigating a ban on such behaviour, for instance).
Concerns about what can be viewed on YouTube are not mine alone, of course. I am confronted by similar questions in most schools I visit and in discussions with other parents. The message is obviously something that the good folks at Google Education have taken on board, where they have devised an interactive curriculum aimed at supporting teachers of secondary students (approximately ages 13-17). The curriculum helps educate students on topics including:
- YouTube’s policies
- How to report content on YouTube
- How to protect their privacy online
- How to be responsible YouTube community members
- How to be responsible digital citizens
These cyber citizenship video lessons complement a range of other resources produced by the team at Google Education, aimed at promoting responsible use and behaviour online.
They'd be a useful resource to be used in conjunction with the Digital Citizenship Guidelines for Teachers developed collaboratively by a group of NZ educators and made available on WikiEducator.