Interview with Jason Smith, CEO and Co-Founder, TeacherTube.com
Posted on: 1/27/2009
How did TeacherTube come into being?
It was an idea that I had when I was a High School Principal opening up a new facility. I had envisioned a video production curriculum for high school students that would include the students capturing our school's best and brightest teachers in action. We would place the videos on a media retrieval system located in the library Media Center. Then the videos could be accessed anywhere in the building through our network. Back in 1999 this idea was cost prohibitive. However, since that time the technology costs have decreased to allow the vision to become a reality. In fact, the technology allowed for us to take the idea to the world. Now the best and brightest teachers can be captured on video and anyone that has access to the internet has access to that teacher's talents.
What are the main goals of TeacherTube?
We want to create a community where teachers can add content for other teachers to use in their classrooms and promote professional development among professional educators.
Are you reaching them?
Yes, and we are reaching our goal faster than imagined. In less than 18 months in existence we have over 50,000 public and private videos uploaded to TeacherTube. In that short amount of time we have become one of the largest educational video depositories in the world and one of the largest educational communities with over 230,000 active members.
How have they changed over time?
Our goals have not changed any since we launched. However, we are currently looking into expanding our vision to include other content than just videos and add more social networking features to TeacherTube.com.
Why should people use TeacherTube instead of YouTube itself?
YouTube is a great resource and I know that it has many great educational videos. However, TeacherTube is education-specific. You will not have to sift through millions of videos to find the gem you are seeking out. As well, many school systems have blocked YouTube based on the content that is allowed on the site. We at TeacherTube have our staff and our community sift through every video before it goes live. We have two simple questions that determine if the videos stay or not. They are: one, does the video promote professional development for educators? And two, can the video be used as an instructional video for students to learn from?
If the video does not meet these criteria then we delete the video.
What challenges do online education services face?
Meeting the needs of educators at a price that they can afford.
We have educators from over 200 countries using TeacherTube each month. I have found good teachers are always looking for good resources so that they can learn from it or share it with their students. This seems to be true of all teachers all over the world.
What is your vision for the future of the Internet in education?
I foresee that everything that impacts student learning will be on the Internet and connected. What I mean is, let's say we have a student that favors an auditory learning style. I can see that this student could have an online textbook that not only has text and pictures, but videos, slide shows, podcasts, etc., all linked to relevant learning standards the student is to master.
How do you see TeacherTube developing over the next few years?
I see TeacherTube evolving into a community that teaches the world's information.
Jason Smith is the CEO and Co-founder of TeacherTube, LLC.Return to previous page
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