Friday, July 31, 2015

10 YouTubing Uses that Align with Common Core Part 1: Speaking and Listening

By EdTechManiac, Blair Einfeldt
*update* For anyone interested, our family YouTube Channel can be found here.

For the first time in quite a while, I have had an abundance of time to spend with my children at home. Chalk that up for my first true teacher summer or living substantially closer to the high school where I teach. Regardless, upon spending this time with my kids I have learned one very important thing:


Like Lays potato chips, it's impossible
They watch YouTube non stop. They watch gaming videos, they watch cat videos, they even watch videos of people watching videos. You read that correct. I observed my children watching a man who was making a video of himself watching a TV show. And they aren't alone. Sixty thousand other people have watched that same person watching that same video.

Image result for steven universe in education
I pulled out my phone for quick research (there is extreme value to this which I will discuss later) to see how much this man, who watched a TV show, mad for watching said TV show. It was a bit vague but I came to a general consensus that through ad placement, YouTube pays out around about $1.50 per thousand views. So looking at that, I realized that this man made about $90 to sit and watch a 20 minute video of Steven Universe. While that is not a ton of money, if I made $90 for every Steven Universe episode I watched...OH GEEZ!

Anyway, in an offhanded comment I mentioned to my children that they could do something like that and probably even better. I did not realize that I had opened up Pandora's Box. I could not unsay that statement. My children went crazy, jumping around at the possibilities of being YouTube famous. So I, being that Arms-Race-Parent, followed by upping the ante with "Of course, let's do this, and we are going to be the best YouTubers EVAH!" I tend to fall into the world of Hyperbole. 

We soon found ourselves purchasing microphone headsets, video cards, digital film editing programs. I'm a bit ashamed at the amount of time and money that followed that first statement, however there have been some awesome things that come about and while I am an educator, I gave reflection to how YouTube and our current foray into viral video distribution has many parallels and uses in the world of education and especially Common Core. And should have a class YouTube Channel.

Many of you know this, but Core Standards build upon each other. With that said, I intend to focus on the 11th/12th grade standards as our end goal. If you would like to downgrade the standard to fit your particular grade level, have at it.

Let's Start with Speaking and Listening:

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

The traditional way of hitting this standard is a typical class discussion. However, the standard talks about having the students come prepared to the discussion. Class discussions do not generally create that need of preparation as it should.

Try this:

Google has an app called Hangouts. It is essentially Skype for Google. Google, which owns,YouTube, automatically saves a Google Hangout sessions as a video on the YouTube accounts of the people within the Hangout. Put your students in small groups, give them a topic to discuss, but make the discussion a Google Hangout. Give them a 10 minute limit. Spend some time prior and have the students create an outline or even rudimentary script for their hangout.

Being that it will be posted on YouTube, watch the level of quality drastically increase as they are held accountable to the internet (trolls and non-trolls alike).

My children are a perfect example of this. They have created their own standard of creation based on the videos they watch. We have had to create intros, channel art, written scripts, added effects and editing because they were afraid to put poor quality out in the event that the YouTubers that they admire were to watch. They are 5, 7 and 9 years old. Imagine how a 11th grader would improve their quality with that type of internet positive peer pressure.

Standards 2 and 3:
(2) Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.

(3) Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.

The Film Theorists
Many of the YouTube videos my pre-double digit aged children watch are Theory Channels. The Gamer Theorists, Cartoon Theory, Film Theorists, Cartoon Conspiracy channels, to name a few, put different ideas and hypotheses in place about relevant (to them) topics. Today, my children are being tasked to take a particular theory and evaluate it for accuracy. This is forcing self driven inquiry and research and will culminate in a 7 year old response video disputing or supporting the thesis of someone else. Again, my 7 and 9 year olds are doing this.

Have your students create a response video to another popular video and provide links to their sources in the description. Or provide your students a debated topic like the validity of the moon landing and have them create a YouTube video breaking down their opinion with sources.

On presentation days, rather than your typical stand-in-front-of-the-class presentations, provide your students links or even QR codes to scan with their iPods or personal devices to watch the videos of their choice. Have your students comment on the video for feedback.

Using YouTube in this way will provide the following things for your classroom:

1. Real-world audience

2. Real-world accountability

3. Engagement

4. Transparency

5. Evidence of Use and Implementation of Standards

6. Evidence of Integration of Technology

7. Self Driven Activity

8. Peer review

9. Possibility of Immediate Feedback

10. Increased Level of Ease in Assessment

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