Real people, posting real videos. It’s like “America’s Funniest Home Videos” for the mainstream, online audience – in terms of entertainment. Yet, there is so much to learn from YouTube and its videos are replacing some traditional methods and modes of learning. From learning guitar chords and how to tie a tie to showing how to solve algebraic equations and listening to movie reviews, YouTube is involved in the learning process of our students - as it is for many of us, as educators.
The commercial dollars and advertising revenue put up for television spots are gradually shifting to online forums of marketing using the everyday person and their story as the focus. Multi-million dollar contracts for commercial endorsements used to be the measuring stick of success – now many of us are gauging popularity and notoriety by YouTube views, Google PageRanks and “likes.”
Fame is becoming more of a ground-up process through the online social networks and user-generated content that we can think, create, wield and apply. Our success is able to grow through user-driven platforms like Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube.
Former students of mine, Jake and Taylor, have been posting videos of their ‘parkour’ adventures on their very own YouTube channel. They have started their own enterprise by doing this and are clearly passionate about their goals and how to share them – in fact they already have 72 subscribers! You can check out their YouTube channel “TheLiftedMovement” and comment on their videos to join in on their learning experience.
For our students, the world is their oyster; if they can envision, invest and achieve their goals. When it comes to the new online audition stages that exist for them, let’s try to find ways to open up this process as a supportive, collaboration effort. Challenge your students to post a video that shows them teaching others how to do something. Have them demonstrate a talent or share their views on an important topic. By reaching out to both a real-life (their classmates) and online peer audience, who knows where the conversation will go and how the learning will play out?
Are your students posting videos on YouTube? Have you ‘showcased’ them in the classroom, and if so, what was the experience like for the student, peers and you – the teacher?