I admire a well-crafted digital story. I admire one even more, when the message can be used to instruct or motivate K-12 students.
Imagine my delight to recently view a YouTube video entitled, “Digital Citizenship – Who Will You Be?” which demonstrated, in an exemplary manner, all seven attributes of an outstanding digital story. Not only was the story well-crafted, it also focused on the very important, but hard to teach, “big ideas” of “Ethics and Responsibility” and “Social Implications” from Manitoba Education’s Literacy with Information and Communication Technology’s (LwICT) “Affective” domain.
I encourage the reader to invest 83 seconds to view this remarkable digital story created by Rosalind Robb – a LwICT Consultant for Manitoba Education:
Not only does this video have an important message, but it is constructed with the following elements that exemplify good teaching practices:
- engaging students by using freeware or open source software (such as iMovie or Photo Story 3) so students may also work at home to improve such projects;
- showcasing Creative Commons licensed Flickr images;
- incorporating background music that students enjoy using appropriate crediting processes;
- demonstrating the creative use of the Ken Burns effect;
- providing a detailed “credits screen” which viewers can use to investigate video elements; and
- sharing the video via YouTube so that other students and teachers can benefit.
Rosalind’s video creation was in response to another remarkable Manitoba educator-created digital story entitled, “Show Your Media Literacy”. This media literacy video was posted as a “teaser” to encourage students and teachers to showcase what digital media meant to them. Rosalind took up the challenge and decided to create a digital story using the Windows Photo Story 3 freeware, which she had never used before. In early October 2009, Rosalind (a.k.a. “RozzyBearHere”) shared her creative resource on YouTube so that other students and educators might benefit from its important message.
For the first few months that this video was posted on YouTube, it had a modest viewing audience. However, this changed dramatically in early June 2010, when the video was selected as “Today’s Spotlight Video” in iGoogle. The video “went viral” and, as of today, is fast approaching 160 000 views, together with being embedded in numerous blogs like this one.
However, with fame comes feedback, fans, and frustration.
In addition, this digital story comes with its own serendipitous “teachable moments”. These opportunities are driven by more than 100 feedback comments that viewers made in response to the “Digital Citizenship – Who Will You Be?” video. I encourage readers to scan these remarks, which are listed in reverse chronological order, to gain a sense of how this video was received by the wider YouTube viewing audience.
Thankfully, when Rosalind posted her video, she chose to moderate the comments made about her video. As viewer feedback was sent to her, she was immediately faced with several questions:
- Do I permit all comments to be viewed?
- Do I share only positive remarks?
- Do I permit negative feedback and comments?
- What do I do about feedback which is rude or inappropriate?
Rosalind admitted that, as an educator, it was a real “eye-opener” to witness the number of inappropriate comments made by viewers who, because they are logged on with an alias or pseudonym, think they have anonymity and no longer need to be respectful or responsible for their comments. Would such individuals be just as rude or profane in a face-to-face dialogue with Rosalind or is this just their “web presence”? I also wonder if such on-line rudeness and profanity will come back to “bite them” should their Internet alias(es) become known to future employers or bosses. After all, it has often been said “what goes around comes around”.
Students and teachers, who share video creations using the YouTube mechanism, need to be aware that feedback is not always as positive as one might like nor is criticism always constructive. For this reason teachers, who post student-created videos on YouTube should not only choose to moderate viewer feedback but also take time to educate students about the potential for inappropriateness. Students need to understand that although there will be positive comments from fans, there may also be the possibility of frustration from harsh, negative or inappropriate comments. To help prepare educators to use YouTube more effectively with students, I encourage readers to investigate the first two “moderation” entries by Wes Fryer found at the end of this article.
Regardless of the frustration of having to moderate inappropriate and rude comments, I thank Rosalind and many like-minded students and educators who are willing to deal with such hassles to share their creativity and concepts using YouTube. To give the reader a final positive spin on this blog entry, I leave you with a list of educational videos that you may wish to share with your students. Knowing that many educators have YouTube access blocked at school, perhaps one might want to investigate these videos at home to determine their appropriateness for use with your class during the next school year.
I wish all educators a well-earned, relaxing summer holiday with family and friends.
Take care & keep smiling
- You Tube Comment Moderation is Great (and Recommended) When Videos Go Viral
- Remember to turn YouTube channel comment moderation ON
- 100 Best YouTube Videos for Teachers
- Use Online Video in Your Classroom
- Using YouTube Videos in Education
- YouTube EDU and other good websites for finding educational videos
- Kahn Academy Library