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Can You Tube enhance the conditions of learning in a classroom? April 26, 2008

Posted by davidit in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , ,

The following are the three core focus questions from the Sustained Maungarei Kaitiakitanga cluster, of which the Supertanker is the lead school and I am one of the facilitators of.

Three Key Cluster Questions:

If we are “To give the leaders of tomorrow the knowledge they need to operate in a world rapidly running out of resources and facing the challenges of climate change.” MoE SOI 2007 what learning experiences should we include?

What are the conditions of value in teaching and learning that will support these learning experiences?

How might ICTs enhance or betray these conditions of value?

The second and third ones are the ones that have been rolling around in my head for the last couple of days with regard to using You Tube tutorials as a teaching and learning resource in the classroom.

Over the last few weeks I have been really surprised at the feedback that my own video tutorials posted to You Tube have been getting. This feedback has had the effect of making me re-consider the skill levels that exist out there in cyberspace. You Tube seems to come with such a ‘youf’ tag to it that I assumed that my little videos would not excite any comment from the wider You Tube community. Yet You Tube users, who by my own default perceptions I have assumed to be a savvy bunch of IT users have really liked my tutorials on Excel and Publisher. And this is what got me thinking, after all how many of my intended target audience for the videos I embed into our cluster wiki have heard of or even use You Tube?

These apps, MS Office suite et al, that have been around since Adam was a boy and I have considered it a given that all computer users have a basic proficiency in using them. After all word processing, Spread sheets and desktop publishing in varying guises have been around since before Windows 95 and the general public’s knowledge of and mass access to, the Internet. I therefore have assumed that everyone knows how to use these applicatons, including the You Tubers, because we have all used them for years, long before the advent of the mashable world of web 2.0… Clearly not.

I cut my teeth on these apps with Aston Tate’s MultiMate back in the mid 80’s. I was, I recall, trying to create a searchable database for my huge library of photographic images so that I could set up a photolibrary, the software was not up to it and my programmer friends could not see the possibility and now we have flickr… The roll of the dice eh? I could make an excellent database for recipies I recall, of no use to anyone considering the size of the machine the database was stored on and where the machine was located! I digress.

So it seems that the You Tube community have a use for my videos. I produced them with teachers in mind, but could a video tutorial or a resource video of ideas stored on You Tube or Teacher Tube enhance the conditions of learning in the classroom? After my personal use of the Blender tutorials, my initial reaction is yes. (Providing of course that schools permit access to this valuable resource and Keep Tube is a great way to manage access if they don’t but heavy on teacher time to download and store for easy access by students.)

Whilst I was on my Blender training rampage, I watched several videos over and over again to get the key strokes and the buttons being pressed just right, it was repeatable and that has always been my intention with the training resources that I have created for a number of years, a repeatable teaching moment indepedent of the teacher. A lesson is a once off. But if you record it in someway and providing the lesson is relevant and well paced then it can be re-visited many times over to re-enforce points or to support learning of a new concept, especially with regard to the acquisition of IT skills. So a recorded lesson with voice and action clearly visible to students, that can be paused, re-wound and re-played in class and without the need for teacher input, would enable the teacher to work with other students, whilst at the same time knowing that the students on the computers had the relevant support right there for them too.

Once a student has learnt the IT skills that support the true learning intention of the teacher, then the IT becomes transparent and a tool that facilitates learning and not act as a potential impediment. This for me is the Holy Grail of using IT in teaching, liberation for student and teacher alike and fostering independent learning. I believe that training videos in the 10 minute format of You Tube will be one of the ways that we can enable this to happen.

In term two I am taking a G+T class for robotics I will be applying the You Tube learning principle in these lessons. For those of you who are intereseted the students will have to build a robot, they can copy the examples from the Lego booklet if they wish (I would prefer that as it gets the building out of the way really quickly.) The real challenge, the real learning, the problem solving is for them to program their robot to draw an image using three colours… You Tube might just come in very handy for them. One thing is for sure I will video their results and post them to You Tube. Watch this space.



1. Artichoke - April 27, 2008

Think about Graham Nuthall’s research on student learning David,

I used his stuff in a recent Artichoke post – it never sits very far from my mindI predict that the activities that will build new learning for me are the ones I will remember. Are the ones (as Graham Nuthall’s work suggests) that I repeatedly experience in a range of different settings –

I suspect your YouTube stuff is popoular because it allows for repeated experience and if the alternative is the help link does not offer video – only text then your YouTube stuff offers an alternative setting

And some of the best learning outcomes come when the teacher still remembers what it is not to be expert in a domain – can still see the incomprehension, cognitive overload and stuggle of something the teacher has adopted as reflective practice – I reckon this is why the peer teaching thing can be so powerful –

Perhaps the mark of a good teacher is not so much expertise in a domain – but expertise in a domain alongside the ability to think like a neophyte

I believe there are many ways in which ICTs provide the conditions of value for learning … Why World of Warcraft is better than schoolI wrote about this in terms of World of Warcraft but other stuff fits the same arguments – oftentimes gamedesigners are more “ontoit” in terms of designing for learning than our curriculum developers – perhaps because game designers are driven by the desire to make money which sharpens their act over peopel who draw a salary each week regardless

In truth World of Warcraft offers a multiplicity of communicative interaction. Within the game you can indulge in

* Whispers – private messages sent to one person only.
* Party chat- a chat between the 5 members of your current party (a group of people working for a common goal)
* Raid chat – a larger group chat (up to 40 people).
* Guild chat – chat between a group of people allied with each other can be as small as 10 up to several hundred.
* General chat everyone who is playing in the same area as you are.

and then

Gee’s “Reason’s Kids Learn From Games” provides the “Gladwellian tipping point” for anyone familiar with good curriculum design.

1. Doing and reflecting
2. Appreciating good design
3. Seeing interrelationships
4. Mastering game language
5. Relating the game world to other worlds
6. Taking risks with reduced consequences
7. Putting out effort because they care
8. Combining multiple identities
9. Watching their own behavior
10. Getting more out than what they put in
11. Being rewarded for achievement
12. Being encouraged to practice
13. Having to master new skills at each level
14. Tasks being neither too easy nor too hard.
15. Doing, thinking and strategizing
16. Getting to do things their own way
17. Discovering meaning
18. Reading in context
19 Relating information
20. Meshing information from multiple media
21. Understanding how knowledge is stored
22. Thinking intuitively
23. Practicing in a simplified setting
24. Being led from easy problems to harder ones
25. Mastering upfront things needed later
26. Repeating basic skills in many games
27. Receiving information just when it is needed
28. Trying rather than following instructions
29. Applying learning from problems to later ones
30. Thinking about the game and the real world
31. Thinking about the game and how they learn
32. Thinking about the games and their culture
33. Finding meaning in all parts of the game
34. Sharing with other players
35. Being part of the gaming world
36. Helping others and modifying games, in addition to just playing.

2. davidit - April 27, 2008

Pam, thanks for this. As I have jumped through your links in this comment, I have been struck by the idea of multiple approaches to learning. It occurs to me that the learner should become the teacher. Students should produce their own ‘help’ or ‘how to’ tutorials for others to use. But I continually come back to the how do we fit it all in to a traditional school day, and that is the challenge surely? The notion of the traditional school day and integrated, independent use of ICT within that are mutually exclusive. Is it fair to say that we are at an either or junction in teaching? If we are is it now time to throw baby out with the bath water?

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