Like many of the educators I know, you have probably heard of TeacherTube, but like me, you may be wondering how TeacherTube differs from YouTube, and how it compares to alternative video hosting sites. This week and next, I'll checkout TeacherTube and some alternatives, and see if I can't provide some brief, useful answers to those questions.
TeacherTube positions itself as a safe alternative to YouTube, focused solely on educational applications. By “safe”, TeacherTube means that students are not going to be exposed to the wide variety of postings that can appear on YouTube or other video hosting sites (according to their Help section, they accomplish this via a “preliminary review on uploaded videos through both a manual and automated process”). Additionally, uploaded videos “must address specific learning objectives and/or provide professional development for educators. Videos may not post advertisements or solicitations of business. [YouTube doesn't] allow any nudity or profanity and your video must be appropriate for all audiences.” There is also some focus on videos for professional development for the teaching community, or ‘teachers teaching teachers’. The aspect of safe video browsing for students, and the tight focus on educational content, is an important differentiator between YouTube (and other video hosting sites) and TeacherTube. For me, this is more than enough to warrant the conscious choosing of TeacherTube over YouTube for the posting of educational video content to be shared with students, as long as TeacherTube is easy to use and reliable.
Launched in March of 2007, the history of the site isn't too long term, but some quick Internet searching yields plenty of positive recommendations, and few negative perspectives on the product (the only logical complaint I saw was mention of concerns about the content in various ads on the site).
As for utility, the functionality available on TeacherTube appears to echo that of YouTube pretty closely, making it easy to use. Note that as with YouTube, you can choose to allow anyone to view your posted video’s on Teacher Tube, or make them private and choose to only be to able view (and show) them yourself. Videos uploaded to TeacherTube can be categorized into 1 or more (up to 3) categories, from a predefined list, and this categorization mechanism is one way to search out videos. Those interested in posting a video on TeacherTube, or getting a look at the application, might want to check out this instructional video on how to post a video to TeacherTube:
TeacherTube: How to upload a video
As for other alternatives, there are a lot of Internet sites to post videos to, such as Metacafe, Google Video, Yahoo Video, and many more, but if you are focused solely on video for educational/instructional purposes, TeacherTube is a great way to go. However, there are a number of alternative sites focused specifically on hosting educational content, such as edutube.org, and mylearningtube.com, and I'm going to give them a quick look-over next week. In the meanwhile, as always, I would love to hear about related experiences and observations, so please weigh in if you have anything to add. Thanks!