Cool websites for education- YT Time Machine. History research tool for students and schools?

October 16, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Digital Era, Product Reviews 

One of the websites I have recently come across is YTTMwhich stands for YouTube Time Machine. The idea was thought up early in 2010 as a way of organising video into selection by years. Having seen the site on BBC’s Click I took a look and could see the relevancy for people looking back nostalgically at past years or decades.

The interface is basic and the site is currently in Alpha so it is likely to see improvements over time. It is nice and simple to use but I was instantly frustrated by the random nature in which videos are served up. Even though 1969 only had 8 videos available I could not see what all 8 were I was just served up one at random (although there is an option for category filter). If I wanted to see another one I would then click for another random selection. I suspect this has much to do with the idea behind the site of just looking back and getting a lucky dip response rather than wanting to research a key event.

Despite this limitation in functionality¬†I did find my self intrigued and continually clicking within years until I came across this video from 1969 called ‘The Internet in 1969′. What a great resource for a student to take a look at and see what people thought was likely to happen to technology in the near future. Turns out they were pretty close but it has taken a little longer than planned!

Delving further as an Historian I headed over to 1943 to see what sort of historical videos they had on the site from World War Two.

My overall view of the site? I think it is a lot of fun and would happily recommend people to visit it casually as a social history site which is what in essence it is. The functionality allows you to filter by categories including music, sport, movies, current events, television etc which is really useful for the purpose of social history. It is fair to say it was probably not built as a student research tool and so does not quite fit the bill but would certainly give them a good insight into some aspects of life in the 20th Century.