This week in my Information Technology in Educational Organizations class, we’re talking about YouTube and vlogging. (That’s right, I linked to Wikipedia!) While with some time and preparation, you can produce professional-looking videos for your library website, with a webcam and a YouTube account, you can upload vlog entries within minutes to share with your library community. With a little extra time, you can also add close-captioning to those videos to make the information within them more accessible.
So, I gave it a whirl this week. Using ideas that we’ve discussed through the semester to integrate Web 2.0 technology into information literacy instruction, I typed up an outline and recorded myself talking about fun, October-y activities for my fictional school library. Here’s the thing: I could have done this whole process in about 30 minutes. Well, not me, personally. Anyone. Anyone but me. I spent about 2 hours doing this because I am absolutely terrible on camera. I tried this and re-tried it using a full script, an outline, and memorization so I could get the words out without stumbling over them, making weird faces, or forgetting to look at the camera. I finally just left it as is, because the spirit of vlogging isn’t supposed to be perfection. It’s supposed to be sharing. It’s supposed to be immediacy. With some practice, I hope to get better at being on camera, but also at not being such a perfectionist!
Here is my first-ever vlog entry below – and the comments section is open as always, so please be kind!
Before this week, my primary use of YouTube has been to view viral videos for fun, or in some of my graduate classes to view educational videos and TED talks, which I’ve become somewhat addicted to. I’ve been resistant to using YouTube as a channel for my own knowledge creation until now. Partly, because I am camera-shy, and partly because if I have something to share, I’ve always been more prone to writing than to recording. Perhaps that will change.
Another way that I’m exploring YouTube for education now is using its social applications. By seeking out videos from my classmates or other professionals in my field, I can pose questions or comments directly below the videos and become a part of the community at large who has a shared interest in the topic of the video. There are so many learning applications for this. In addition to professional development for teachers and librarians, this is a great way to encourage knowledge creation among our students, and of course a way to get them to contribute to the learning community. Book trailers like those I mentioned in my imaginary library promo here are one example of this. Can you share more with me in the comments section? (Right here or on YouTube!)