Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hey, Mom! I'm on TV!

At this point in time, I have not yet reached celebrity status. I have not only NOT been the star of a video that has been posted on the Web, but I have also not even posted a video of other people on the Web. I am not comfortable with the pseudo-celebrity status that I may gain from the posting of these videos for others to see.

I think that the same concerns apply to videosharing as to photosharing. Appearances made in videos must be given consent and I think that creating a video that is appropriate to the relevant users is also important. This applies to both a library context as well as a school context.

I was never a huge YouTube viewer; however, I recently have begun to use it to listen to music. It has become a convenient medium through which I can select songs that I like and can listen to and watch the videos for as many times as I would like.

I believe that YouTube and other videosharing websites can be quite educational, entertaining, or both, but the fact of the matter is that anyone can post anything and there is virtually nothing that anyone can do about it. Last year, one of my students at Sylvan Learning Centre told a couple of us teachers that her friends had posted a video of her on YouTube. She explained that she was dancing in the video and she told us how to find it. So, silly me, I found the video and I was shocked to find the incredibly quiet student that I knew to be dancing crazily and swearing. It really made me wonder about why she had told us that the video was there - and I also wondered if she was comfortable with having that video be publicly available to anyone.

I can see how videosharing would most definitely provide students with an authentic learning experience. Provided all of the FOIP paperwork is completed, it would be interesting to see how students would use the tool for class projects. It would even be interesting to share these with other students and schools. Will Richardson writes that videosharing with family and friends who live far away or who for some reason cannot make it to s school performance is an effective method for still having them be a part of the project. I think that many students would enjoy using this medium for projects and assignments because it allows them to express themselves and their ideas in unique ways. On an episode of the TLC show Little People Big World, one of the twins created a video reenacting the Battle of Gettysburg. Not only did his classmates enjoy the presentation, but the teacher gave him a good grade. Something like this often helps students to understand a particular concept more clearly.

In terms of using videosharing in the library, I think that it could have a huge impact on making the library more accessible to everyone. For those who cannot visit the library due to mobility issues (and provided they have a stable Internet connection at home), they could use videosharing websites to explore various aspects of the library. When authors granted permission, videos of their visits and readings could be posted to the Web so that no one has to miss out on the program. Videosharing could also be a great way to give tours of the library, especially for young children who have never been there. It can act as an introduction to the space before they actually physically visit.

Of course, along with videosharing come the issues of copyright and ownership. Authors may not agree to have their visits recorded and posted to the Web. And their may be some question as to who owns the video once it is posted. Most people would give the library credit, but then there are the questions regarding who is able to use it and for what purpose. These are not easy questions to answer and I can honestly say that copyright and ownership (as well as privacy) have been the major reasons that I have not posted videos to the Web. I don't want just anyone to come along and use my material for something without getting my permission. And most people don't think anything of taking something from a site like YouTube and using it for their own purposes.

I was looking forward to creating some sort of video and posting it to the blog; however, I do not have access to any sort of videorecording device and thus, had to pass on the opportunity. I did create a short slideshow with Windows Movie Maker, however. I must say that trying to post it to YouTube was quite frustrating. I created an account so that I could upload a video, but after I signed up, it wouldn't let me sign in. I tried asking for the username and password to be emailed to me, but it still didn't work. I have spent the past hour trying to figure out what is going on, but I still can't figure it out. I have completely given up. Instead, I tried to add the video to this blog, but there is some sort of error preventing me from doing so. So far, I haven't had a great experience with videosharing. I'll try to post the video on the blog a bit later...

It's still not working, so although I have a video no one will be able to view it. Sorry.

I tried to upload my video to Facebook, but apparently the format of my video is not currently being uploaded. So I still have no way of posting my video. I will keep trying on Blogger and hopefully, at some point, it will allow it to be posted.


  1. Your experience at Sylvan Learning Centre really supports the notion that librarians and teachers need to educate students and young people about the dangers of sharing inappropriate videos. Here is a link to a great educational video that could be shared with teenagers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvp-kZeoWW0&feature=fvw

    I've experienced some problems lately with Blogger, so you are not alone with your frustrations!

  2. Wow! Thanks for the link to the video, Lisa! I really liked how the video was so straight to the point. I think that a lot of teens could easily relate to the girl in the video. That's the great thing about teaching students to use the Web wisely - there are a lot of great resources available if you know where to look.

  3. Your story about the student who told you about her video on YouTube also raises a question about the lines we draw (are forced to draw?) between teachers and students in the online environment. Teachers, now more than ever, are having to decide what they are comfortable with in terms of sharing their personal lives with students (and vice versa). Should teachers be 'friends' with their students (or their parents) on Facebook? Should teachers and students share video links on YouTube? There is no clear cut right or wrong answer on this, but it is something that teachers now have to consider that was not an issue 5 or 10 years ago. Interesting!


  4. People have to be really careful of what they post on the internet and how it represents them. My brother pulled a high school prank last year and his friend video taped it and posted it on youtube. My brother got into a lot of trouble because this is how the principal found out who pulled the prank. I don't think that people realize that when you post something on the internet anyone can view it, and you have to be aware of how the stuff you post represents you.