YouTube, Teaching, and Learning

I finally watched Mike Wesch's presentation to the Library of Congress that he's entitled "An anthropological introduction to YouTube." An absolutely incredible presentation, this is the kind of keynote that could get a guy nominated to speak at TED.

One of the most staggering messages of the presentation is given in the first two minutes.
In 1948, ABC started broadcasting - and they became the third network to do so... so they were the third major network... Those three networks, if they had been broadcasting every day, for every hour of the day, for [the last] sixty years, it would be over 1.5 million hours of programming. Which is a lot, but YouTube produced more in the last six months. And they did it without producers, they did with just people like you and me, anybody that's ever uploaded anything to YouTube.

Another interesting topic addressed by Dr. Wesch was the idea that in creating YouTube videos, people are basically alone while potentially talking to millions. This kind of "interaction" can't be healthy.

Or can it?

Teachers, alone or otherwise, too often focus solely upon the teaching that they do. Nevertheless, I wonder if this kind of YouTube-video-creation practice wouldn’t help them to think more about the learning that may or may not be taking place in their classrooms. On YouTube, even though the person creating a video is likely alone in their production, speaking to a camera, they are often forced to think about what the viewer sees as a result of their production. They think about the viewing experience before and during production.

Teachers should be no different.

Successful teachers not only think about the teaching that occurs in their classrooms but the learning, as well. Questions encompassing that which the students hear, see, feel, and experience - during instruction - are consistently addressed.

I think that teachers need to think more about what their students are learning, in addition to what is being taught. Can creating YouTube videos actually encourage the practice?

Nyeah. Maybe, maybe not.

Image Source: Jennifer Jones

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