Mount St. Joseph teacher uses YouTube to promote class

Get the popcorn.

Encouraged at his high school to use Web 2.0 tools to better interact with the “digital generation,” a teacher at Mount St. Joseph High School, Irvington, is using YouTube – a leader in online video – to promote an elective course for juniors and seniors.

Tim Kabara, who teaches the class “Writing About the Humanities,” produced a 3:38-minute video to discuss and show the highlights of his course using attention-getting music and Hollywood film clips.

“Increasingly, students receive and ‘read’ media in short videos,” said Mr. Kabara. “YouTube seems to be the most popular aggregator, so I thought it would be a good place to put the video.”

The English teacher is honest in his video’s delivery, indicating “this class is not for everyone,” as there is a great deal of reading and writing, “but it might be right for you.”

Within a few days of posting it, 300 people had viewed the YouTube video, hearing and seeing Mr. Kabara’s dry delivery of “get the popcorn.”

They seemed to be impressed by it, said the teacher. Even students he doesn’t teach have been stopping him in the hall to comment.

“I take it as a compliment that they consider it worth watching,” he said, “as they can be tough critics.”

Paul Kellermann, computer science department chair, has spearheaded an initiative to help teachers integrate Web 2.0 into their curriculum by using podcasts, blogs and wikis to help teachers make homework and schoolwork interesting and easily accessible.

“My aim was to let more students know about my elective using ‘new media,’” said Mr. Kabara, “and I think that goal has been achieved.”

To view the video, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUDZVztU6l0. It is also posted on www.TeacherTube.com.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.