I couldn’t help but be reminded of Valenza’s Modest Manifesto as I toured the video sharing sites, especially when she writes that your physical space, as an educator, is a “libratory”, extending far beyond the four physical walls that architecturally limit you, and that learners’ potential for interacting – as producers and consumers – is heightened by new technologies. The use of video sharing sites, for both viewers and contributors, honours these ideas of Valenza’s, as students seek out, watch, evaluate, compare, contrast, create (collaboratively and individually) postings.
The sites I snooped around in included YouTube, TeacherTube, Metacafe, Blip.tv (the videos I watched here were preceded by ads – annoying), Sharkle (there was a feature here that allowed you to create your own ad – interesting potential for Language Arts classes; we’ve written “ads” for many things, including gruesome and grisly Hallowe’en products – it would be a great extension to video the ads) and Googlevideo (the Amazing Art of Julian Beever caught my eye – check it out. It would be inspirational to show my students when we do sidewalk chalk art – a standard June project in my class. Eisenberg and Johnson’s recommendations that computer skills be threaded through regular curriculum certainly hit home with this blog assignment – there are videos to support music, art, maths, science, creative writing, social studies, phys. ed., global awareness (tieing in with Rogers’ global literacy and its importance in our continually shrinking planet). I posted a math video on YouTube – the video ties into our math program. It’s a demonstration of a “finger calculator” for the 9 times table. Parents can view it at home with their children (provided they have a computer – public libraries or digital cafes are options for those "sans" computers). It’s a creative way to communicate, educate and reinforce learning for students and adults alike and provides great PR for the school.
The process of creating the video was fun. It made me aware of some of the decisions that must be made when “movie making” – What camera angle was best? Should background music be added? What background colour was needed for my hands? What lighting considerations were there? Should I script or ad lib the commentary?
It was easy to sign up for the YouTube account but posting the video was a challenge. It turned into a mini-inservice for our staff (collaboration in action!), as it wouldn’t post initially. I recruited our tech lead teacher and several others to work with me, trying various things. Finally someone suggested renaming the video. It reposted after the second renaming. So ….. now I’m not the only one on staff who’s a little wiser regarding YouTube and its postings. It’s nice to share my educational experiences with my colleagues….we're getting good vlaue for my tuition dollar!
There was a lag in time – nearly eight hours – between posting the video and having it appear online – good to know if you’re working with rigid guidelines.
I can see the potential for using video sharing sites for reinforcing or extending learning or for absent students – those hospitalized can watch science experiments or Christmas concert numbers; long term vacationers can get classroom demos, etc.
There could be problems with FOIP issues when creating videos, or with schools blocking video sharing sites, or with people posting videos for malicious reasons or without the knowledge of those being filmed.
Super Bowl commercials have been featured on video sharing sites…..if I can post this before 4 o’clock, I’ll be able to watch some on my TV! (I know it won't compare with the Riders winning the Grey Cup this year, but it is an excuse for good friends and good food!)