My nine year old daughter, Madison wants a guinea pig. My husband and I want her to have a guinea pig like we want more bills to pay. One day while driving her to school she began stating some random facts about what to feed guinea pigs, how to clean them and asked me did I know guinea pigs could swim. Curious, I asked if she learned these facts from a friend at school or the school library. She said “No. I learned about them from watching videos on YouTube.”
Research is different nowadays. When I think about how I investigated things that interested me or did research for a school paper, it was usually from either polling my sisters and friends or multiple trips to the library. I would pour over content sitting in the library with multiple books open, using index cards to jot down notes.
Information can be received quickly and without much effort these days.This phenomenon leads to a host of issues that need to be addressed, such as, how do we glean content to make sure it is reliable?
Media literacy training would solve the problem of content curation and analyzing all types of media. As defined by NAMLE (National Association of Media Literacy Education) “Media literacy is the “The ability to ACCESS, ANALYZE, EVALUATE, and COMMUNICATE information in a variety of forms....” Media literacy is a very important concept to teach our students and children.
According to the article YouTube is Crushing Cable TV, According to Google, “For younger audiences in particular, the video-sharing website has become a platform to discover new content, thanks to new features such as video suggestions and auto-play.”
There are billions of videos on YouTube, so how should you analyze and evaluate the content? To start, use a few of this these basic media literacy principles found on NAMLE (NAMLE (National Association of Media Literacy Education) website:
Today, everyone is an “expert”. More access to information online means the need for media/digital literacy skills in education.
If you want to learn about media literacy feel free to peruse my Media Literacy Symbaloo page. There are a lot of resources to assist with encoding and decoding media messages.
Well, along with researching guinea pigs, Madison loves to draw and she has found yet another YouTube channel, Draw So Cute which shows the audience how to draw different objects from cute penguins to cute cupcakes. Madison continues to do research on guinea pigs, however the possibility of getting a guinea pig, or any pet, is contingent upon her doing basic things without the constant reminders. You know, things like, make her bed, clean her room and eat her vegetables. I suppose, while some things change, others do stay the same.
I love learning new things. When I discover new technology, whether it’s for video production
(my background), or any type of gadget or app that may serve me, my family or teachers
(I’m a Video Technology Coordinator) I get giddy and want to share with everyone. I hope that
by sharing my ideas, one will stick, especially for my colleagues, who may not have time to
research technology for their classes.
The other day I participated in a technology ambassador meeting hosted by MsEdtechie,
Patricia Brown, Technology Integration Coach extraordinaire. She had six stations set up for
staff to learn about different educational technology resources. For me, the top of the list was
the virtual reality app. I immediately downloaded the DiscoveryVR app onto my iPhone. Next
I placed my iPhone into the I Am Cardboard viewfinder (I Am is the brand of viewfinder there
are other options to choose from such as Google Cardboard). The viewfinders remind me of
the ViewMaster from yesteryear-- but on steroids. Am I dating myself? I chose the
SharksEverywhere! virtual reality experience. “WOW!,” I said as I looked through the viewfinder.
I walked around, looked up to the left and right and saw sharks, other sea life, and a scuba diver
waving at me! This 360 degree virtual reality was a trip in more ways than one. A trip I may not
be able to afford on my own, nevertheless I could take students on virtually.
I could see this as an introduction to a Science class in elementary school or an Environmental
class in high school to pique student interest. For an English class, it could visually prompt a
writing assignment. Maybe a Technology class could use it as a springboard to compare the
technology advances from the time of the old View-Master and today’s new viewfinder.
Teachers are extremely busy, and while they are open to suggestions, sometime find little time
to research new tech tips and applications which would enhance their lessons. Technology
support staff want to enhance your curriculum, not to add to or annoy, so ask for their help!
So to all lifelong learners, try out a new technology for you and your students. Give them
exposure to new technologies. Who knows, maybe that tech addition may spark interest in
one of your students to pursue as a career. If it flops, move on to the next
technology, and at least you know what works, and what may not. If you need a hand to hold,
consult your Technology Integration Coach, or the teacher tech guru in your building. Spread
the technology cheer! Who knows, you may become the next technology expert in your building.
By the way, when I researched View-Master,I found they have virtual reality options also. So cool. Good luck!