Tuesday, October 09, 2007

teaching with youtube

one of my most vivid memories of grad school is professor lounsbury walking into class with an armful of video tapes. he'd shuffle in and immediately wrestle with the VCR, juggling weird warhol films, cronenberg's videodrome, vintage jimi at monterey pop, and, always, hitchcock's rear window. he'd dim the lights, push play, and instead of watching the clips, he'd watch us! i enjoyed those classes.

today in intro to media studies we discussed the history of television. we talked about the 1950s, when american tv was conceived, produced, and supported by a single sponsor. i mentioned the buick circus hour and the colgate comedy hour. then, with help from my laptop computer, a smart classroom, and youtube, i was able to show my students the very odd camel news caravan.

and we talked about how sponsorship - single or otherwise - looks today.

we talked about september 1960, when a sweaty nixon debated a suave JFK on national television. in the middle of lecture, i typed "jfk and nixon 1960" and found this clip. in a world of mashups, media artifacts sure get strange.


Marianaria Sra. bibliotecaria said...

Ray Bradbury's short story "The Veldt," from the 1950s might be of interest as one take on what then was seen as the dangers of television, but, with its virtual reality screens, certainly reflects some fears today about "young people's" use of virtual reality plus other bits of technology.

david silver said...

ooh, what a great suggestion - thanks! i'll find it in the library this afternoon.

Ivan Chew said...

In speaking with some teachers in Singapore (from the equivalent of your lower grade schools to High Schools) I learned that many of them regularly reference YouTube videos to supplement their lessons. One persistent problem seems to the the download speed. While our schools have decent broadband connections, because we're accessing the site outside Singapore, the pipeline can get choked at times. Some resort to copying the videos but that leads to copyright issues. But there's no denial that a service like YouTube is being seen as having legitimate uses in education. Which is fascinating to me, because it was never set up to be that.

david silver said...

ivan says, "But there's no denial that a service like YouTube is being seen as having legitimate uses in education. Which is fascinating to me, because it was never set up to be that."


one of the ways i've avoided slow download speeds is to access the youtube videos prior to class on my laptop then drag in my laptop to class. the videos show quickly because they are already saved on my computer.

Librarian in Black said...

As a technology instructor for libraries, I often use YouTube as a way to find videos explaining my points, as examples, or sometimes merely as a fun way to bring the class back from a break. A great example are the "Explanations in Plain English" videos created by Common Craft, explaining various technologies (see RSS in Plain English: http://www.commoncraft.com/rss_plain_english).

Like any open repository of information, you're going to see things that represent the community that feeds it - and in this case, it is largely western-biased and techie-heavy. But, so was the early web in general. YouTube, like other content sites, is a wonderful place to tap for all types of research. You'd be surprised what you can find!!

david silver said...

i love lee and sachi's work at common craft. i plan to use RSS in plain english as a homework assignment for my classes in the next week or two.