Before I dive into YouTube and why I think it's the absolute best, an update on what I have been planning and researching for my Major Project this term:
1) YouTube: My continued commitment to posting my course lectures (can't post much else... maybe someday the computer science student projects?) This article covers my goals, how much time I spend during the week doing "YouTube stuff"
2) TikTok (this one is going TERRIBLY haha... there's a link to a test TikTok I made... it got about 300 views in a day, and now it's dead. It's not educational at all): Update --> So my Drama Teacher friend doesn't actually use TikTok (I misunderstood her)--she cited draconian Divisional Policies as the culprit--but she is willing to chat with me about how she used Vine when it was a thing, and I think this is very similar to TikTok, so I AM going to interview her on that and post it.
3) Twitter/Instagram: I've lined up an interview with a colleague of mine who uses Twitter in his English class to great effect. I'll discuss my own usage of it as well, and how I've been developing my own use of it
4) Wakelet: How I've begun using it for presentations, and getting students to use it to summarize their own learning.
Remember... my personal journey is not to develop resources for others (well, my YouTube really is for my students who like to review their notes)... and I guess the Wakelets might be for public consumption... I'm just trying to chip away at the iceberg of things that I wish I was, which is why this project is such a great thing for me to develop personally... I feel like I have so far to go and I've been at it for so long already....
To learn, students need to DO SOMETHING.
World Class Lectures For FREE
I mean, come on, where else would you be able to get world class lectures without actually attending the university or lecture in person? That's right, on YouTube :)
YouTube is a strange place where you can learn anything. I keep saying it's the best thing since sliced bread. For a motivated learner, I really do believe you can find almost anything you want to learn for free on YouTube. Draw back? Quality isn't always great, but for a lot of mainstream subjects, it's amazing given that it's also FREE. A smattering of amazing educational channels follows for your own use:
TERMS OF SERVICE OVERVIEW
Yeah, it's bleak. But that seems to be the case for just about anything useful on the internet. You want great services for free? Well, prepare for sketchy internet practices. I'm actually a big fan of things like Wikipedia (which have been shown to be better or just as good as the "name brand" guys), and if we have to pay for it, I think that is fair. I think it should be free to those who cannot afford it. As far as YouTube goes, it gets a D from Terms of Service--Didn't Read. So, for student use, you'll have to check with your divisional policies. For example, in my division, YouTube is blocked for students (crazy, it should be open!), but with special permission, I was allowed to get students to post to YouTube and use it in my classroom.
How I Have Been Using YouTube
Two major ways:
1) To post my own lectures. My goal this semester continues to be (a holdover from #eci831) to upload every lesson. This means I am now doing this for 3 courses: Grade 10 computer science, Grade 11 Calculus, and Grade 12 Calculus. It doesn't sound like much, but this takes me about 20-30 minutes five times a week... this time involves editing videos, creating them, and uploading them. It takes a surprisingly long time... but I am happy to say that compared to how I felt about it last year, it is actually starting to become a HABIT to do this stuff... small victory! That was my major roadblock before!
-The lessons are typically around the 35 minute mark. That's long! I'd like to develop quick 5 minute topic overviews... like "how to _______" videos for those who need quick refreshers. I'd start this with math videos.
-In January I had 57 subscribers. Now I have 101. I'd like to have 150 by the end of April!
-Continue uploading videos until I have every course covered.
-Post links to my blank notes in the description of each video so people can download them. This involves uploading the PDFs (which I have to create!) to my Dropbox.
2) I use YouTube as a way for students to show their learning. This is self explanatory. Idid this last semester with my Grade 11/12 computer science class and it was great! I hope to continue doing this!
Goals are hard!!
The last thing I'd leave you with is a video I've posted before (in eci831 I think)... it's one of my favourite videos. It's from Derek Muller, who I think is a bit of an inspirational figure for me anyways... I enjoy his YouTube channel... he has spent a bit of time working for Bill Nye, and did his PhD thesis in physics education.
It doesn't matter what happens around the learner... we are not limited by what experiences we can give to students... no technology is inheritably superior to any other... researchers spent so much time researching whether one technology was more effective than another, that they failed to investigate exactly how to use the technology to promote meaningful thought processes. So the question really is, what kind of experiences promote the kind of thinking that is required for learning?
Alright, well, that's it for an update. I've been spending a lot of my energy on YouTube... and I've been doing a lot of research for Twitter, and for TikTok. Hopefully I'll have those interviews done in the next week or two (my Robotics Club has been keeping me mad busy though!!)
Stay curious friends,
The Essential Elements!
We examined Ribble's Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship this week in #eci832. I've been reflecting how this relates to my social media journey project. I'll be looking at TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, and maybe Wakelet as I journey into the wilderness of social media and education. TikTok is the first one I am tackling. Progress has been slow. This is a bit related to being a content-catalyst for next week's ECI832 Lesson! It's hard, yet inspiring, to try to keep up with the Hollywood videos created by the amazing group last week: shout out to Catherine, Nataly, Amanda, and Melinda.
I'm especially interested in TikTok... so while I believe all these points apply to the other social media platforms I'm examining, I'm especially turning my attention to TikTok. Here they are....
Element 3. Digital Communication and Collaboration: "the electronic exchange of information".
Well, TikTok allows people to exchange videos, which could have any sort of content or purpose. The most popular "purpose" I've seen in my "studies" on TikTok is that of entertainment, meme generation/spreading, and self-promotion.
Element 4. Digital Etiquette: "standards of conduct or procedures and has to do with the process of thinking about others when using digital devices".
There is great potential to discuss the appropriate use of Etiquette when utilizing TikTok, as you are presenting yourself to the world when you post a video.
Element 5. Digital Fluency: "the process of understanding technology and its use. Includes the ability to discern good information from poor, such as “fake news” from real news."
Lots of information is shared on TikTok, from memes, to reactions to current events, and news. Discerning what is valuable from what is not is certainly a part of this platform. Choosing it for entertainment or information is another.
Element 6. Digital Health and Welfare: "physical and psychological well-being in a digital world. Educators need to ask the question of how much screen time is appropriate for students."
My biggest downfall is opening the TikTok app. I've started setting a timer for 10 minutes, because time flows differently when you open the TikTok app. It's easy to drain an hour watching video after video. This is not OK. Definitely a discussion for students around appropriate use and screen time limits.
Progress on TikTok
I've recently identified from some discussions with students ways that they think TikTok might be useful in education. We all agreed that perhaps for Drama/theater, TikTok might actually be useful for motivating students, and giving them a global audience for their performances. See the video below that I filmed today while I was having some candid conversations with some of my grade 11/12 computer science class about TikTok and how they use it.
Well, you heard it here first! Some kiddos use it as their news source (which scares me frankly). It was in another unrecorded conversation where one student suggested it'd be great for Drama/Theater. So I went to the drama teacher, and low and behold, she said that coincidentally, her grade 12 class was just talking about TikTok today! Imagine that! The butterfly effect? Who knows!
So, my colleague and I, we decided that she would try to use some TikTok in her classroom, and let me know how it goes. I'll do a quick interview with her, and post it as part of my examination of TikTok, whenever it is complete! I am excited to share the results with you!
Do any of you foresee any useful educational uses of TikTok? I really can't find much on the web that actually seems reasonable/useful, at least at the high school level. Drama/theater was a new idea for me!
Till next time,
Dopamine is the same chemical that makes us feel good when we smoke, when we drink, and when we gamble. Dopamine is highly, highly, addictive. We have age restrictions on smoking, gambling, and alcohol and we have no age restrictions on social media and cell phones.
Our Future ... an Age of Distraction!
Well, as part of my blog post this week, I went ahead and asked my 73 year old colleague what he thought of Millennials. He immediately replied: "entitled, lazy, and not nearly as reliable as people who are older than them."
So there you have it. See you all next week!
Haha, just kidding. Since I am making my post very late this week (just you wait until it's your week to prepare your material for being the content catalyst the next week, you'll die!), I looked to my amazing peers for some inspiration. Dean had an amazing interview with a student, that is playing right now as I type. I think you should definitely check out that interview, it's 30 minutes long, but well worth it. Catherine was posting about her social media project, making her doggie (Instagram: @callie.the.golden.pup) Instagram famous in her exploration.
Wow. I'm actually starting to develop some serious concerns about my social media usage just from this course. It is GREAT keeping up to date with everyone, but I don't know if moving forward I'll be able to keep a healthy balance between work, my family, and my studies. Am I just being inefficient? I have no idea. Maybe I'm a millennial? BINGO!
What do Schools Need to do to stay relevant?
Millennials have been hit hard, from more debt, to worse job prospects than their parents, to getting participation trophies too often, the list goes on and on.
We also have access to addictive technologies like social media and cell phones. We live in an age of distraction. I don't know the answer to the above question. But I know what I believe:
I believe that schools should be doing everything possible to help their teachers integrate appropriate use of social media in all their classes. Participatory learning, powered by social media outside of the classroom should be a feature of all classes. This will allow teachers to model how to effectively use social media, and allow students to develop their digital identities in safe and constructive ways.
To this end, I'm sharing this resource here, which I chose to use as my basis for being a content catalyst next week (Feb 11) on digital identity. It's a conference paper written by two professors who created a course that was totally based on social media and digital identities.
The article is a case study that really highlights the possibilities around teaching and integrating social media as a catalyst for participatory learning. All throughout, it gives teachers and students opportunities to model effective use of social media, and to develop positive digital identities.
I feel that given all the bad press social media gets, I think this is one of the things that students need urgently moving forward. It's not quite banning cell phones as Simon Sinek mentioned in his YouTube video, but it might be better.
My name is Matteo Di Muro, the original Prairie Boy, and I've been teaching since I was 14. I currently teach mathematics and computer science in Brandon. I try to keep on learning things, and I'm getting onboard with sharing with others, hence this site!