Jones joins YouTube

Jones faculty begin Youtube channels to reach their students


Adrian Zamudio'21

Students try to effectively complete tasks while being restricted to a digital format.

Once Chicago Public Schools (CPS) switched to remote learning, various Jones faculty began their journey to “YouTube stardom” by uploading their lessons to the platform. 

Kyle Eck, a math teacher, was the first to begin a YouTube channel. He created his channel specific to his new teaching curriculum. 

“The first video was uploaded in winter 2016, the year I started at Jones,” said Eck. “I felt like our math curriculum was unique and there were some specific problems in the High Dive [Math 3] unit that needed extra explanation.”

To make the most of this pandemic, other teachers like Kimberly Bowman followed in Eck’s footsteps. 

Bowman said uploading to YouTube would make learning more convenient for students. Bowman chooses to keep her YouTube videos unlisted, meaning they are only accessible to viewers who have the URL. 

“The videos follow along with our notes packets; the rest of the world probably wouldn’t benefit,” said Bowman. “Also, I’m a little uncomfortable being out in public like that.” 

In addition to Bowman, counseling department chair Brain Coleman created a YouTube channel for the counselors before the pandemic.

 “My videos started with short video reviews/summaries of counseling seminars during the 2018-2019 school year and then grew into full video lessons this year in the wake of remote learning and the global health crisis,” said Coleman. 

Although it took a global pandemic for Coleman to start his YouTube channel, he had been interested in creating YouTube videos for some time. 

“I was inspired originally by Instagram stories, which are short, engaging, and fun,” said Coleman.

In order to expand their channel, the counselors have begun brainstorming different video series ideas to keep their viewers engaged.

“I decided to work with the counseling team to create easy-to-find, engaging content for students and parents/guardians alike – enter YouTube” said Coleman.

The counselors have worked to create more than one type of content because of their unique relationship to students and parents.

 “We’ve also worked to make more ‘getting to know-you’ content available from the team,” said Coleman. “At its core, counseling work is about relationship building and we want students to get a sense of who we are and how we can help even if they can’t see us in-person.”

Eck sported some messages about content creation and how he is indifferent about YouTube stardom. 

“I hope it leads me to having students well prepared for their future math classes,” said Eck. “I’m not really interested in being a YouTube star – I’ve seen what it takes to game the algorithms, and I’m not up for that amount of work.”

More than anything, the counselors want their content to be as accessible as possible to the JCP community.

“I think it’s more about where we hope it will lead students/families.  More than anything, we want our content to be as accessible as possible to the JCP community,” said Coleman. “The counseling team knows that we need students, parents and guardians to be aware of who we are, what we do, and how we can help in order to truly support students’ academic, social/emotional and post-secondary readiness.”