Friday, May 24, 2013

Progress Report from a Digital Immigrant, Part 2

Celebrated or patronized? I’m ambivalent about YouTube’s personalized emails:
  • “Way to go, Kim Essenburg! Looks like you uploaded your first ever YouTube video.” (Wednesday)
  • “Way to go, Kim Essenburg! Your video’s now on YouTube.” (Thursday and Friday--next 7 uploads)
  • “Nice job, Kim Essenburg! Looks like someone’s been inspired lately.” (Friday--after last 2 uploads)
The good news is I successfully uploaded videos of my 10th grade English students’ presentations to YouTube, made the privacy setting “unlisted,” and posted the link on a password-protected class website. 

Once someone told me I could get a YouTube account just by going through Gmail (through which everyone at our school has a work email address), the rest was fairly easy. If you have Gmail, on the toolbar at the top of mail, you can go to “More” and select “YouTube” from the dropdown menu. There’s an “upload” button at the top of the page, you can drag-and-drop the video, and you can set privacy on the right side of the page. 

Because I want to make these videos available to my students but not to the rest of the YouTube-searching world, I made the privacy setting “unlisted,” which means that it can only be accessed by people who have the URL. 

You can upload up to 15 minutes of video. My presentations were 10 minutes. The only problem was internet speed--when I first tried at home, uploading began and a message informed me, “2000 minutes remaining.” I quickly cancelled that upload and went to school where the uploading took 10 minutes. Maybe next time I’ll look into downsizing the file. 

I’m hoping that having these presentations online will serve 3 purposes: 
  1. Fun: Since I teach 2 sections of the same class, sometimes students wish they could see presentations of classmates from the other section, and now they can. 
  2. Individual information and improvement in specific areas: I’m planning to require each student to watch his or her previous performance and write up observations before giving the final presentation of the school year. 
  3. Models for future classes: To clarify expectations and raise class performance, I plan to use the best of this year’s presentations as models. I’m convinced that using writing models improves student performance--why not presentation models?
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a million.

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