1.Reflections on the process of learning about the tool
In using the video-sharing technology I had to learn to firstly create a video and secondly, post it to You-tube. I have had experience creating videos from a digital camera and a video, but creating it from a digital photos was new to me. I have also done recordings for electronic tutorials using Camtasia, but I was never involved in the editing of the tutorials. For this assignment, I started with Picasa 3 as I had previously downloaded it for the photo-sharing assignment, but I was having some challenges when trying to add music files. The application required mp3 or .wma files and I didn't have any of those files on my computer. I tried to download some mp3 files and needless to say I was not enthused to create new profiles. So, I decided I was going to create a 'voiceless video'. But then I remembered that while I was viewing some You-tube videos online someone had recommended using Windows Movie Maker (which usually comes with your computer).
I went in search of that Movie Maker and found it in no time. Creating the video was a "breeze" for the most part. I dragged and dropped picture and sound files unto the platform and then did whatever editing that was needed. It was my first hands-on editing experience and it was actually less intimidating than I thought it would be. I was able to pull a sound file that was already on my computer and blended it in the video. It sure makes a difference when you can hear some sound in the video. After I published and viewed the video, I decided it was time to post it to my blog. I created a new post and uploaded the video and it was on-screen.
The next step was to post the video in You-tube. I created an account which was quite quick (thank goodness Google bought You-tube some years ago :)...cuts the account creation time in half ). After uploading the video, I must say I felt 'published' :) :) .....and then, I went logged out of You-tube and went back in to search for my video and I could not find it. I made certain that I gave it a unique name but, that still didn't work. It wasn't until I did a search on my username that I found my video Online.....at least I found it.
2. Discussion of the tool in terms of my own personal learning
While it is great to learn how to create and edit the videos, personally, I would have a problem with sharing my videos with the world, especially videos of my family and friends. I deliberately chose to show just some pictures from West Edmonton Mall where the dragon blows fire every couple of minutes (feels less threatening). There isn't much of a drive for me to create these kinds of videos regarding my peronsal life, and even though some educators and authors would have an issue with my view, I would rather err on the side of caution. If I produce family videos, I would restrict viewing to just persons that I know
Ironically, although I have not previously produced You-tube videos, I have definitely consumed quite a number of those videos that have been posted online. I remember leaving Jamaica last August and thinking that I would be unable to get all the highlights of what was happening there while our runners were performing in the Beijing Olympics later that month. I was so estactic when I went on You-tube and saw all the videos of the celebrations and excitement that was taking place in Jamaica, it felt as if I was at home. Every day of the games that Jamaicans participated I was online checking to see if anyone had uploaded videos of what was taking place 'back home' and I was not disappointed. Although I was tempted to create a 'voiceless video', I am glad that those who uploaded those videos hadn't made them 'voiceless'. A video clip becomes real powerful when you can both see and hear what is taking place. For me the voice in the video is what gives it 'character'.
There are contractions that exist in my mind where video-sharing is concerned, if I see people that I know in videos on You-tube I feel some amount of connection (for whatever reason), still yet, I am not open to putting my self out there for others to feel that connection. I think the fear factor is in the thought that once you have posted a video 'it is always out there' even after you have deleted it.
3. Discussion of the tool in terms of teaching and learning
Video-sharing can be a great tool or a daunting tool within the classroom. I think of it as a coin -having two different sides. The teacher's/learner's experience with this tool can vary depending on how the coin is flipped - 'heads you win, tails you lose'.
(Younger) learners who are more adept to exploring and employing technology in their everyday life are usually more open to using this technology to create a 'work of art'. Many of these learners have cell-phones, lap-tops, i-pods and a host of other gadgets that we as educators/teachers never had when we were their age. In years past the means of communication was limited to pay-phones and snailmail, today those have faded in the distance. A 2006 McKinsey survey of 4 leading online video-sharing sites in Germany revealed these as the top three reasons why users uploaded videos; 1. I seek fame; I want the world to see my videos 2. It is fun and 3. I want to share my experiences with my friends. Video-sharing has opened up a whole new way for individuals to not only communicate with family/friends but with the world. I found the number one reason quite interesting and wondered whether the whole business of 'reality tv' was the reason for this(mmh?). Well, it's 'heads you win, tails you lose' - maybe that's just it, if persons post enough videos or the right videos they just might win(become famous).
Adult learners are not usually as enthused about using newer technologies as 'digital natives' are. On one of the blogs I visited it was pointed out that this can be for a number of reasons. 1. The technology that adults use at work aren't used in a similar manner in the classroom. Most adult learners that use technology in an office environment, perform duties that are relevant to their work. For the most part this might involving using Microsoft applications, sending e-mails and faxes and printing/photocopying documents. If a learner leaving this environment attends an evening class where he/she is required to do an assignment using a video-sharing technology....that's a whole new ballgame for them. It will require more time commitment and possibly extra tutoring to become comfortable with the technology and then to use it to complete an assignment.
2. Their motivations for being in the classrooms are different from that of young learners. I would say the motivations are different, period. Adult learners are at different points in their lives and the reason for them being in the classroom affects their adaptability to these technologies. While a non-adult learner will seek to know the video-sharing technology so that they can post videos for their friends to see, an adult learner might be in the classroom so that they can learn about the new technologies that they need to teach with
3. Time (or the lack thereof) is usually one of the reasons adult learners do not readily embrace the technology. Adult learners are generally more pressed for time as most of them are either in full-time jobs or are parents or are spouses or are contemplating a career change (or are having to juggle numerous hats). Teaching or learning with technology require learners to invest more time. The saying 'practise makes perfect' is quite applicable here as users of the technology need to dedicate more time to exploring the different features that a tool has to offer.
Kop (2008) states "over the past decades technological change has instigated a debate about the future of adult education. A dichotomy has appeared between the position of adult educators and that of learning technologists on the need for and nature of change under the influence of technology." Although there is not a wide body of research into adult education and the effect that these Web2.0 technologies will/has had on this discipline, Kop alludes to discussions that are taking place on the matter. Her statement raises two questions in my mind: Will adult educators still be in needed in the classroom (virtual/otherwise) to guide adult learners as they chart new/different courses in their life? Will the new models proposed by learning technologists be able to raise consciousness and engage adult learners in critical thinking?
Exciting times ahead...'heads you win, tails you lose'.
Kop, R. (2008) Web 2.0 Technologies: Disruptive or Liberating for Adult Education? In Gateway to the Future of Learning, Proceedings of the 49th Annual Adult Education Research Conference,pg 222-227. University of Missouri, St.Louis, Missouri, USA.
Bughin, J. (2007). How Companies can make the most of user-generated content. The McKinsey Quarterly.