Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Youtube University?

What are the possibilities for YouTube content? We have seen some interesting entertainment emerge out of this work. What about teaching and learning?

If you are a skateboarder trying to learn a new trick, this is very hard to communicate in words. It is more possible with video. Here are some example of a fakie kickflip and frontside noseslide with fakie.

These are quite good instructional videos. The skaters provide a good explanation of the trick, how it is done and how it may fit with other skating tricks. They have also broken up the content into small, useful chunks-- one trick at a time rather than all the tricks packaged together. I can watch the one trick over and over until I think I have it, then try it out... watch again, see what I am doing wrong and keep practicing. The bad news of course is that you don't have a coach on hand to diagnosis what you are doing wrong. So could I upload video of my inability to do a trick in order to get feedback from a "skateboard coach?"

Here are some thoughts from Henry Jenkins on YouTube.

"While most people can read, very few publish in print. Hence active contribution to science, journalism and even fictional storytelling has been restricted to expert elites, while most of the general population makes do with ready-made entertainment. But the internet does not distinguish between literacy and publication. So now we are entering a new kind of digital literacy, where everyone is a publisher and whole populations have the chance to contribute as well as consume.

We can certainly use the internet for daydreaming, mischief and time-wasting, but it is equally possible to move on to other levels of functionality, and other purposes, including science, journalism and works of the imagination. You can already find all this on YouTube.....

As they say in The Matrix: `I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin.'"


Aaron Ebata said...

Bob, you make some great points. "Youtube University" offers many different "instructors" offering different videos reflecting different "ways of teaching". Although we often talk of "best practice" the discussion often refers to principles rather than on specific techniques or practices. So while Johnny might find one video helpful in learning a trick, Sammy might benefit more from a different video to learn the same trick.

Years ago, methodologist Lee Chronbach wrote about "treatment X person interactions" and suggested that we should assume that different "treatments" would have different levels of efficacy with different people. User contributed "lessons" ensure that there will be different kinds of "treatments".

Youtube also offers a lot of "bad examples" or examples of "things gone wrong" that can be useful for learning!

Robert Hughes Jr, PhD said...

Yes, there are multiple ways to learn and yes there are bad examples of teaching on YouTube. Your central point is the most important, we need multiple ways to teaching and YouTube or other social media that invite many contributors is more likely to create a platform of "multiple" style of teaching.

I also want to note that many aspects of parenting would benefit from "video." It is often hard to explain particicular developmental activities without showing it or to teach a particular way of interacting with children without showing it. This is where YouTube could help a lot