“what does youtube mean to you?”: my students’ videos

This semester in my Writing, Research, and Technology course students are learning how to create idea-driven video compositions. The larger project is to create a video oral history on an important contemporary topic. To help students get familiar with the Flip Ultra video camera we’re using, as well as learn some of the basics of Windows Movie Maker (one student used iMovie and another used Final Cut Pro), I assigned a shorter project called “What Does YouTube Mean to You?” The goal was to try to try to get past the hyperbole often associated with YouTube and come to an understanding of how YouTube is perceived by the general public.

To complete the project students we were asked to interview 25 – 30 random people and ask them three questions: What is your name? Where are you from? What does YouTube mean to you? From the interviews, students had to locate a representative sample to use, and mash up those clips with clips from YouTube videos that provided evidence for what the interviewees were saying. They also had to have a Creative Commons-licensed music track(s) and apply their own Creative Commons license.

I am more than please with the results. The videos show a diverse group of opinions about YouTube—from those who think it is a U-shaped-pipe used in plumbing to those who think it is for watching skateboarders crash to those who tend to equate it with the meaning of life. More importantly, they show how much the students learned in 3 short weeks about video editing, composition, and visual arguments. There are 15 in all (listed in no particular order), so please continue below the fold. Enjoy.

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