Reflection: An anthropological introduction to YouTube

  1. Reflect on our changing world and the new culture of participation as described in lecture and by Wesch

An anthropological introduction to YouTube was published in 2008. YouTube was created in 2005. Since then YouTube has given people a platform to share context with a global audience. YouTube’s global audience has given participation culture a worldwide reach. When a YouTube video goes viral it does not just go national it goes international. For example “Dragostea Din Tei” (more commonly known in English as the Numa Numa Song) by the Moldovan pop group O-Zone became viral and people began copying the songs, making their versions and posting them on YouTube. Anyone with access to the internet can upload a video on Youtube and it is relatively cheap to create a video depending on the content.  Regular people can broadcast themselves to millions of people.  People can collaborate with others from around the world.

Youtube in the 2000s and Youtube now has evolved a lot. Our culture has evolved with social platforms, such as Youtube. In 2008 the most popular videos uploaded were home videos, now people upload content on par with big companies. YouTube has given regular people a medium where they can express their creativity, share their opinions, teach and learn new skills and so much more. Many adolescences today create original content and post them on Youtube for recreation/leisure. When adolescences come into the classroom many of them will have writing,  visual and audios editing, filming skills etc. With these skills, adolescences can apply these skills to their schoolwork.

  1. What does this mean for your future classroom?

This means that the nature of transferring, sharing, and demonstrating knowledge has changed. In classrooms traditionally students learn from textbooks or by word of the teacher, now students have access to an almost infinite amount of information and resources. With this amount of information teachers now have to teach students digital literacy such as the validity of information and digital image.

Another change that technology, like Youtube, has brought into the classroom is the form of students’ assignments.  Assignments will be more technology-based. Their resources will mostly come from the internet and not books. The way they hand in their assignments will be online. The assignment will be in in in digital formats, such as pdf, audio recordings, and videos.

  1. What does it mean for schools in general?

In general, schools will have to adapt to a society driven by technology. Schools will have to integrate technology, both hardware and software, in the school building. The quantity and quality of technology will greatly contribute to the students’ academic learning.

  1. How might we rethink the idea of schooling and education in our networked, participatory, and digital world?

Schooling can be conducted differently from traditional methods. Students will learn through creating and collaborating instead of being passive learners. Students can take online classes instead of being a physical classroom Students can learn how to self-study and learn independently through the internet.

5. How can we balance the challenges of our new digital reality with the possibilities that it offers?

There are many challenges regarding our new digital reality. With almost an infinite amount of information there it will be a challenge for both teachers and students to distinguish valid information versus invalid information.

Another challenge is cyberbullying. Unlike traditional school bullying, cyberbullying is harder to escape. Students can get bullied outside of school hours. Also, technology can pose a danger to mental health. For example, students are bombarded with unrealistic beauty standards through social media platforms such as Instagram.

Too much technology can disconnect students from each other and reality and can be a conduit for bullying. Teachers and students must learn how to manage their time online and watch what kind of content they consume.

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Teacher in training.

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