April 03, 2007

National education agency on YouTube, Blip and GoogleVids

Ltsyoutube My employer, "the main organisation for the development and support of the Scottish curriculum", has this week launched its own YouTube channel.

OK, it only took a few minutes to do, but the will to do this in the first place, coming from Scotland's national education agency, should be a powerful message to all education authorities around the world: you can and you should be looking at how all technologies might provide an opportunity for learning and teacher development.

We've had GoogleVideo clips since last September, although most of the material is for proof of concept and is from the East Lothian area. We've also just opened a Blip.TV channel which should be more accessible in schools and which, I think, has a nicer interface than anything else - just need to fill that one up a bit. Once again, we're avoiding that big project, big launch thing. We just hope that we can get some even more interesting video out there over the next year - it's not like events such as the Learning Festival don't provide enough ;-) When we've got that we might make a little bit of a song and dance about it (we'll video the song and dance, of course).

The advent of TeacherTube should mean that we get in there, too, and we probably will. But part of me also thinks we should be engaging with 'real' tools first and foremost, not slightly phony 'safe' schooly curricular ones, where the quality of content is just as debatable as on non-schooly versions and doesn't seem to be kid-friendly. Judy's got a resounding silence to people who use it successfully in lessons, and I don't think it's really helping answer the real question: do teachers know how to exploit video online in a safe way? The answer, as Leon Cych hints, is probably not: how many of those kids in the videos have written sign-off from their parents, as East Lothian teachers have now been empowered to do? In the 21st century informal learning, not the formal stuff, will become the way the vast majority of lifelong learners will get their fix. Is creating a new silo of information which is deemed more valuable because of its 'safeness' worthwhile?

Clearly I don't think so, and, for once, we've got a public organisation making a very public statement on its intentions and desires with new technology: use what the kids use, use what engages them, and educate them about it in school.

In the time it takes Local Authorities to get this you can still capture YouTube videos from home to 'takeaway' into school. And innovative teachers like Neil Winton are realising that if you can't beat 'em with cool (and still highly useful and entertaining) school trip blogs, then join 'em in their Bebo pages as they discuss what happened on the trip. The discussion is on the same thing, just in a different place.

Meanwhile, what kind of videos would you find of interest from your (inter)national education provider? More of the same? I'd hope that we might also have some new ideas to bring to you through the box, but maybe the next big idea is from you. And, yes, we will see you on Bebo soon ;-)


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This is excellent news! I've been wondering when we'd be able to set up something like this. I'd expected it to be a part of GLOW when it comes online...

The next problem (of course) is persuading the powers that be in the LAs to allow access at school!

Well done LTScotland - This is exactly what our community need.
Neil don't worry the more of these things we have - the more restrictions will vanish. We just need as a community to get better at doing more of these things.

Hi Ewan,

This is totally unrelated to this post.... but I just want to say that I've really been enjoying reading your blog. I've come across it through a link on Ulearn07 as you are one of the Keynote speakers that will be coming to visit us in New Zealand in October. I've had a good read through your last 3 months ish of postings... I'll be a avid reader from now on, many thanks.

Cheers for the great and insightful reads! Hopefully I'll catch up with you in Auckland!

Regards, Rachel Boyd, Nelson, New Zealand


Hi Ewan,
I am still disappointed that LTS do not set up ScotEduTube.

(clamber on to soapbox)
My main worry is LA access.

You mention not slightly phony 'safe' schooly curricular ones is the East Lothian blog set up slightly phony?
I really do not think so, it just makes it easier for teachers and children in EL to join a blogging community, safely and effectively with some build in goodness.

I am sure they way forward is to teach the responsible use of communications technology, I try to do that everyday, but there is a good argument for providing a 'training pool' to quickly connect young video makers with an audience.
Personally I am not (at the moment ) as interested in video from teachers I am more interested in giving pupils an audience.
That audience will not perceive the children's effort as using phony tools once the video is embedded in a pupil's blog.

I mailed the folk at teachersTube about submitting pupil videos but got a fairly ambiguous reply. I suspect that they are aimed at teacher produced rather than pupil stuff.

Surely here is still room for a ScotEduTube? It would not be of youtube proportions or cost that much to run (as much as http://exc-el.org.uk/ ??)

I know there is excellent video work in Scottish schools that is never shared nationally and globally, I don't think these folk are going to jump straight to youtube, but a halfway house...
(gets off soapbox)

Possibly glow will give us something similar, there is a video streaming tool that allows public sharing of video, i just have not been able to get it to work yet.

As a by-the-by, an old uni friend of mine is a teacher of Media studies at The Charles Darwin School in Kent. There are some excellent examples of pupil footage here.


The Schools home page:


She tells me there have not been any arising issues with posting these video clips on the net. They use RM machines too.

I do agree with John. It would be great to have a safe place to put and view pupils' videos.

That sounds really exciting Ewan. It would be great if the people at Teachers TV could get their heads around the YouTube / Blip.TV model.

Ewan, I love this bit of your post: "In the 21st century informal learning, not the formal stuff, will become the way the vast majority of lifelong learners will get their fix. Is creating a new silo of information which is deemed more valuable because of its 'safeness' worthwhile?"

.....And I am deeply envious that you have an organisation that has created its own YouTube channel. Why? Because it provides teachers with a safe place to learn :-) unhindered by the usual YouTube issues. The challenge is to learn how to use these tools in a '21st century' way - beyond just making video clips to share (bit like the whole history of powerpoint don't you think?.

Sigh..what I wouldn't give to work for an organisation like LTS!!

I was told off by parents for embedding youtube into our school blogs. Having children clicking through to 'grown up' youtube was, apparently very, very bad.

I think if you want to teach safety in school, go ahead, but it's the parents that need the lessons the most.

So, I added video support to our blogging platform. Now, teachers merely email in their videos and it's added to their site, automatically.

I've been surprised by its popularity. Seems many schools were waiting for this.

See a media department's blog for an example


Thanks for the article. I agree: it's time to use the technology we have in a more educational way.

Hi Ewan,

As a West Lothian boy of old I had momentary flash of pride reading "the main organisation for the development and support of the Scottish curriculum", had launched its own YouTube channel. But I visited the link and it has been pulled.

Do you know what the story is?

All the best Paul

Merely changed URL for some reason:

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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