When I first saw the YouTube annotations I must confess that I didn’t see much use for it, but having seen it used in http://youtu.be/tbEei0I3kMQ it becomes obvious that annotations are a powerful tool for making educational videos interactive.
The annotations allow you to set up choices, and link to different successive video clips depending upon which choice is selected by the viewer. This could be used to ask a quick question or, more powerfully to allow students to explore the consequences of different choices.
While teachers could create videos with annotations for didactic purposes, it seems to me far more useful to get students to create videos with different endings, showing different consequences of actions. this would get students to think about and explore the notion of consequences – a far more useful exercise in my view.
For example students could explore aspects of online safety by creating a video on cyberbullying, let’s say. By making alternate endings to their video, and using YouTube’s annotations to give their audience a choice they would be exploring the topic much more fully themselves. It would also give their viewers a chance to think about the choices before them, and this in itself would naturally lead to very useful discussion points in class.
What a wonderful tool this promises to be!