Another teachable moment…thanks Google

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I love starting off classes with “Have you seen the news?”

The kids are so use to it now that some times I have students come to me before I have a chance to say it. This morning no sooner did I get the words out of my mouth when a girl in the class said, “Yep, Google bought YouTube.”

Now because the class has used YouTube to host our movies (and 35% of them have their own account) it made the discussion even that more meaningful. I meant to only spend about 5 minutes on the topic, but the students wouldn’t drop it. So we went to YouTube and the students searched for videos about the sale. They watched two videos a piece and then we came back together to discuss what they had hear and seen. Before long our conversation turned to copyright laws and now that Google owns YouTube they can be sued for all the copyright videos on the site. A great discussion seeing this is what we’ve been studying lately (Social and Ethical use of the web) The conversation lasted a good 30 minutes and at the end we were all confused over why Google bought the site, what’s going to happen next, and what does this mean for both companies.

Just another example of learning happening through conversations and the social-web. I know my students are now keeping up on this story and I’m sure we’ll have another discussion Friday. 21st Century Literacy…this is it in action!

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I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. I like that you’re helping the kids get enough context to have access to conversations about current events in tech and how they relate to the big picture. I remember when I was in 6th grade, our teacher did something called the “Zeitgeist Checklist” every Friday where he’d pick events from editorials in the newspapers and help us get enough background to be able to discuss them. It really left an impression on me. It pleases me to think something like Google buying YouTube became a useful classroom exercise.

  2. Pingback: The Thinking Stick » Answering the hard questions

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