Thursday, January 23, 2014

You Tube Videos as Knowledge Product Models?

Every January we hear, view, and get solicitations for the "best of 2014" this-and-that, and I find all these intriguing.  The popularity contests in media are a barometer of cultural values. They speak volumes about what issues are beleaguering Americans; what speaks to people; where values lie; and what people are worried about.     

As I reviewed this blog posting about You Tube's Most Popular Educational Videos, I couldn't help ask...why?   In watching these great videos my mind went into overdrive thinking how these could be used to compel secondary research projects that are CCSS aligned.

When the new SS standards were released, it was interesting to note the pervasive message that kids should "research to build and present knowledge."  Students expect to do research in our schools, but what teachers lack with CCSS alignment is allowing students to creatively present their findings.    

Many teachers still are operating in the mode that students must deliver research in a written report--that will be fed into the anti-plagiarism tools  for which the districts have paid plenty of money. Dare I say that if our student's knowledge product was in the form of a video, song, infographic,  compelling speech, drama, script or some other
 Howard-Gardner-Approved format that we wouldn't have to worry about plagiarism?  

Why couldn't we ask our students to present their knowledge in this format?  

Here are a half - dozen  questions that could inspire open-ended Inquiry-Based research units eventually begging for a YouTube Instructional video - Students could create an evidence-based-claim for anyone of these: 

EQ:  Why is your chemical element important to the world?   (This could follow a close reading of the book,  The Disappearing Spoon for CCSS alignment.) 
EQ:  Why is your life better because of the scientific research which has been done for [your chosen scientific topic]? 
EQ:  Why is your life significantly better because of the Enforcement Acts of the 1870's?  
EQ:  Why does Ulysses S. Grant deserve to be on the $50.00  dollar bill?    (Reconstruction) 
EQ:  Why should we care about what we eat?  (This could follow a book such as, The Omnivore's Dilemma
EQ:  Why is the old phrase "The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil"  so apropos today - and how was this manifested in our American History? 

Unbelievable statistics below from YouTube.   If our kids are living online, you are likely to get instant engagement if you require an Evidence-Based Claim in the form of a movie.  

Insure that your students give citations  (i.e. "credits") which will add value and rigor to their movie evidence based claim. 


  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
  • Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that's almost an hour for every person on Earth, and 50% more than last year
  • 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • 80% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
  • YouTube is localized in 61 countries and across 61 languages
  • According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network
  • Millions of subscriptions happen each day. The number of people subscribing daily is up more than 3x since last year, and the number of daily subscriptions is up more than 4x since last year

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