How do we incorporate You Tube into a composition/writing class?

I thought Welch’s video was really interesting and I particularly liked the fact that his video was looking at You Tube through the lens of anthropology.  Anthropology enabled him to think about You Tube and community; the idea of the loss of community and our need for community and belonging, for self expression as part of a larger global participatory community.   He proposes the idea of a new media scape, You Tube, as part of a new integrated media scape with “us” at the center; mediating human relationships.   His studies of You Tube culture show that You Tube enables:

New forms of identity

New forms of community; global communities transcending time and space

New forms of self-expression

New forms of empowerment—agency

You Tube Links people in ways that we have never been linked before

You Tube includes user generated content and distribution

The participatory nature of You Tube; for example remixes

In response to the question posted earlier “So, in a writing classroom that focuses on the student’s writing and their process, where does YouTube come in? I liked the idea of ecologies of practice Buck uses in her study to shift focus from the texts, or written “products” of our students to an emphasis on process and the continuous literate activity that takes place on social network site (Buck, 11).

I am also wondering what would happen if we took Richardson’s exercise from last week (32), his 8 points about “where posting ends and academic blogging begins” and tried creating such a list for You Tube.   Could we use the 12 standards for English Language Arts Richardson uses for blogging to create this list?  Where does You Tube as an academic practice begin?  What would our list of You Tubbing versus Not You Tubbing include?

1. Posting home videos exposing one’s inmost thoughts or outright silliness (You Tubbing as an academic exercise or not?)

2. Remixing posted videos (You Tubbing as an academic exercise or not?)

3. Integrating You Tube use with daily literacy practices (Buck 20-1) (You Tubbing as an academic exercise or not?)

4. You Tube as a way to bridge on-line and off-line spaces (You Tubbing as an academic exercise or not?)

5. Using video posts for social justice work, ACE was already mentioned as one example, and there is also a new app developed by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey to monitor police abuses  (You Tubbing as an academic exercise or not?)

6…what would you add?


5 comments on “How do we incorporate You Tube into a composition/writing class?

  1. Pingback: Upvotes for Good Thesis Statements | Teaching Writing in a Digital Age

  2. My upvotes for what works as academic exercise:
    1) Innermost thoughts as an autoethnographic activity — scaffolded and carefully prompted.
    2) Remixing as social commentary — again, requires skillful scaffolding.
    3) Daily literacy — depends on what you watch.
    4) Online/offline and blended classroom activities. Lectures online. Already doing this at my other school (AAU)
    5) ACE, ACLU, Social Justice Issues, Democracy Now feeds — see link for Josh Wolf

  3. I like how you brought in information from last week’s Richardson reading to explore the academic uses of popular websites like YouTube. I think my only struggle was the “You Tubbing as an academic exercise or not?” part of your post. I thought that the assignments that you came up with (like using YouTube as a way to record daily literacy practices) made a pretty strong case for using YouTube as an academic tool.
    I remember somebody mentioned using YouTube to record and share difficulties. I really liked that idea; it’s not my idea but I like it as a potential exercise. And yes, while I agree that sharing difficulties can put students in a vulnerable position, I think it could be a good way to help students build a sense of community. If the teacher serves as a moderator and as long as the students keep the content appropriate, I think such an exercise should work.

  4. I also like the lens of anthropology. I think an important take away from that video is that we should not believe everything that is on youtube—people can be creating characters as an emotional outlet or for entertainment.

    I think we can use youtube very creatively. My group and I came up with this idea of using youtube videos as a substitute for difficulty papers. Students can record themselves and wrestle with points they misunderstood and points that they do understand. The comments section could be a valuable tool for students to provide comments to each other’s videos and students will get a sense of multimodal practice and a sense of their audience. The composition requirement can be satisfied in youtube video link descriptions and in composing comments.

    I also think youtube can be used for role playing such as interviewer/news reporting. A student can play the newscaster and write scripts that are emotionally engaging and hold a microphone to speak. They can exercise their conversational skills by interviewing other people. The video itself can record an important time in history that perhaps the large scale media would not have time to even make a story for.

    I think youtube videos can most effectively be used in classrooms as a teaching tool rather than an assignment. A teacher can make use of the visual aids and lesson plan and present it on video which would make it easier on an instructor to sit and watch a video with the class. A screen cast may be helpful. The teacher can entertain more new questions about how students would make a more effective video and whether the content was easy to understand. The students can then have traditional paper assignments, because that will produce lengthier writing assignments. This is probably more useful in composition classrooms because youtube is easier to pass information along and learn from rather than assessing, because we as composition teachers are still in the process of learning how to assess new media.

  5. Whatever the outcome of today’s election, I’m sure that this blog will go into the history books

    And give us food for thought and fodder for discussions on critical thinking, social justice and more specifically voter rights in the YouTube age, in our classrooms.

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