While some people think YouTube is just a kids’ toy, Greenfield Community College’s staff and faculty know that YouTube is a powerful educational and communications tool. Now, GCC students and community members in Franklin County, as well as GCC alumni and supporters across the globe, can tune in to youtube.com/greenfieldcc to see course materials, lectures by visiting scholars, and concerts and plays performed by GCC students. By posting videos on YouTube, GCC is joining a growing number of institutions of higher education using this social media.
GCC faculty and staff began actively using YouTube in spring 2009. Since 1971, GCC has released cable television versions of some course materials as well as of special events such as lectures, student recitals and choral concerts. But not everyone has cable television. While the cable content has been accessible to many people, YouTube provides even broader access, allowing anyone with a computer and internet access to view GCC’s videos.
Instead of trying to juggle many busy professionals’ schedules, the instructors of a health careers survey course filmed a series of interviews with health care professionals and posted them on YouTube. Students watch the interviews online and then discuss the interviews in class. Interviews shown on YouTube have a number of advantages over having health professionals visit a classroom. With a video, students can stop the action, rewind, and watch it again to get more details. With a live person, students can’t ask a guest speaker to repeat the last five minutes of their presentation.
In addition to using YouTube for course materials, GCC is using YouTube to promote the College and share useful information with local community members and people far and wide. Local students are glad they can share their performances in College plays and concerts with far-flung relatives. Last April’s lecture on the history of the Holocaust has been viewed by many people interested in Holocaust studies. Most events, lectures and concerts on GCC’s campus will be posted on YouTube.
GCC’s YouTube materials don’t appear by magic on the web, it takes the skillful work of the College’s educational technology professionals to make it happen. GCC’s YouTube presence is the work of Garry Longe, an Instructional Media Specialist in GCC’s Educational Technology Center, and Erica Goleman, the College’s webmaster.
Garry Longe said, “With our presence on YouTube, GCC is reaching out to everyone. It is now possible to stay in touch with GCC no matter where you are. Not everyone can go to a particular event. YouTube broadens the community of people able to enjoy the benefits of GCC, and it allows alumni to stay connected with current events at the college.” To see videos by and about GCC on YouTube, go to youtube.com/greenfieldcc.