Saturday, February 2, 2008

Blog 2- Video-Sharing Sites

My son was on YouTube last year. A colleague told me. He was singing in a band that had performed at his high school where someone in the audience had videotaped the performance. The owner of the video camera posted the recording without asking/telling the band members. While this turned out to be a great way for us to see his band perform and to share it with friends and family, it made me look at video-cameras differently.

Imagine a different scenario. There is a fight on the school grounds. Someone pulls out their cell phone and the next day, everyone in the school is watching the fight on YouTube. Imagine this same event just ten years ago. How has YouTube changed the way conflict arises and is resolved on our schools?

Growing Up Online, certainly demonstrates the power of YouTube to broadcast student behaviour and provoke reaction. I have concerns about the way video-sharing sites like YouTube can sensationalize and as a result, perhaps encourage risky behaviour in teens. Clearly, this potential needs to be part of our internet education for students.

Are we always on stage? Last fall, at a professional meeting, we received a warning about the dangers of YouTube for teachers. With such easy access to video sharing, your private life suddenly has the potential to become public whenever a digital camera, video-camera or cell phone is present. YouTube and other video-sharing sights can be highly entertaining and can be an excellent tool to promote or share experiences but one must be aware of the potential this type of tool has to destroy reputations and to promote negative and destructive points of view.

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