YOUTUBE



YouTube is an ever evolving and growing internet phenomenon which has implications on the current practices of education; both positively and negatively. YouTube is a fantastic resource available to anybody with computer and internet access, and allows teachers the ability to bring new and engaging activities into their classrooms. The possibilities of this resource are endless, and in realising this, one must also then be aware of its implications.

YouTube, according to recent searches returns 83.4 million videos, and 3.75 user channels, costing $1 million a day in bandwidth. (Wikipedia) In realising these recent figures, and taking into consideration the manner in which they would have certainly changed since early 2008, one is able to see the vast and enormously extensive resource that is virtually at ones fingertips.

Teachers and students alike are able to access YouTube in order to explore new facets of literacy and education. With the ability to both download and upload videos of every possible genre, new ways of exploring conventional topics are opened. YouTube allows teachers access to resources that would otherwise be impossible to utilise, and also opens doors to allowing students new and creative ways of taking ownership of assignments and assessment tasks. In doing so, students may approach conventional tasks such as diary entries, reading logs, and personal reflections in a manner which speaks to, and engages their ever evolving culture and literacy.

YouTube has the ability to be both a “hot, or cool” (Trier, 2008) form of media engagement. Students may simply view videos on YouTube as an extension of that which is being studied in the classroom. Alternatively, for a ‘cooler’ experience, students may be asked to film, edit, and create their own videos for broadcast on YouTube. Teachers would, of course, be required to take precautions in regard to the accessibility of such videos, and fully explore school policy in regard to this issue before undertaking such a task.

Teachers are also then in a position where they themselves are exploring and engaging with new forms of literacy, and may pass this on to their students. In engaging with new forms of media literacy, teachers may then use this new information to assist them in communication ideas surrounding more traditional forms of literacy. We then find that our connection to 'Gen Y' is positively affected as we begin to 'speak their language.'



Academic Articles

As YouTube is an ever evolving and somewhat new resource available to both students and teachers alike, it is, of course, the subject of many recent academic writings.

Alexander, B. (2006). Web 2.0: A New Wave of Innovation for Teaching and Learning? EDUCAUSE Review, v41 n2 p33-44
Alexander discusses the manner in which the internet has changed to become a much more interactive experience for all people, particularly learners. Through a newfound sense of connectedness, learners are able to communicate with other learners via online communities, in order to “boost their knowledge and ability to learn.” Here, Alexander also talks about the ways that blogs and wikis are being utilised by learners to discuss and extend a shared knowledge.

Burden, K. & Atkinson, S. (2007). Jumping on the YouTube bandwagon? Using digital video clips to develop personalised learning strategies. In ICT: Providing choices for learners and learning. Proceedings ascilite Singapore 2007. http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/singapore07/procs/burdenposter.pdf
This article discusses the way in which video, whilst being widely used within the classroom, is being used somewhat ineffectively. It discusses the idea of utilising such resources, like those available through YouTube, as merely a bandwagon, or popular phase, rather than in a pedagogically sound manner.
Here, the authors explore the notion of using digital video to “engage learners in higher level cognitive activities.” In doing so, teachers are certainly allowing themselves the opportunity to take passive students, and turn them into active and engaged learners. Readers are also given information regarding YouTube-esque websites that are being developed in order to direct both teachers and learners alike toward more academically inclined video.

Honawar, V. (2007). Cellphones in Classrooms Land Teachers on Online Video Sites. Education Week. Nov 2007. 27(11) p 1.

Here, Honawar explores the negative side of the YouTube phenomenon; Teachers being filmed by their students, and this video subsequently ending up on YouTube. Honawar discusses the way in which the availability and accessibility of YouTube may affect the way in which the teacher interacts with the class, and thus how they teach the class, along with the way in which such secret ‘tapings’ may discourage student participation in classroom discussion.
This article brings up some very important considerations to be thought about when introducing students to the idea of creating their own YouTube clips.


Jakes, D. (2007). Web 2.0 and the new visual literacy. (Special Section of Technology & Learning). Technology & Learning. 27.9, April 2007.
In this article, Jakes explains the importance of visual literacy in classrooms where resources like YouTube are being increasingly accessed and utilised by teachers. He explains the value of equipping students with a high level of visual literacy, and uses examples such as YouTube and Flickr to highlight his point. He talks about the way that such sites not only allow the participant to upload photographs and video content, but how they also provide social networking tools such as email, tagging, and commenting, along with ways that users may communicate and establish links with new online communities.
Finally, Jakes provides quite an extensive list of websites that may be used by teachers to improve the visual literacy of their students. This in itself is a very useful resource provided within the article.

Long, C. (2008). Mind The Gap: It’s a High Speed, High Def, Wi-Fi World. But Not For Everybody. NEA Today. 26.6, March 2008.
Long discusses the manner in which students of this generation are becoming not only “content consumers, but content creators,” as they enter the world of the internet where they have a greater input into what is available. She talks about the ways that students of today are consuming and integrating technology into their everyday lives at an alarming rate, and goes further to consider the manner in which such actions are widening the gap between those who have access to technology, and those who do not.
This article considers the way in which affluent members of society have the technological world at their fingertips, whilst those in rural or lower socio-economic positions are not afforded such luxuries, and allows one to think about the manner in which we may begin to bridge such gaps.


Trier, J. (2007). Cool Engagements With YouTube: Part One. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. 50.7, February 2007.
Trier discusses the way in which the internet, and the way we use it, has changed from “hot engagements,” to “cool engagements,” with the emergence of YouTube and other interactive online activities. It gives examples of “cool” media which are participatory, such as podcasts and YouTube, which vary from the older “hot engagements” of previous years. He suggests the idea of “cool hunting,” that is looking and hunting for online sites and resources that allow students a higher level of interaction and participation. He also explores and explains the notion of “space shifting,” that is, having access to video and audio data at a time that is suitable to the student, rather than simply being available in the classroom during a particular lesson.


Trier
, J. (2007). Cool Engagements With YouTube: Part Two. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. 50.7, April 2007.
In a follow-up article, Trier further explores the idea of ‘hot,’ and ‘cool’ participation internet activities and sites. Here, Trier focuses more on the use of YouTube within the classroom, and the practicalities of undertaking such a task. He explains the way that teachers can use YouTube more effectively by creating accounts and saving favourite and useful videos.
Trier also discusses the manner in which YouTube can be used in an intertextual manner, and can be a handy tool when attempting to locate related texts to a particular topic being taught within the classroom. He concludes by suggesting ways that teachers can utilise YouTube in a manner that engages students, and allows them to take ownership of this resource for further individual use.

Van Eeden, P. (2008). Top Class Media Production: Class TV and ClassNet. Screen Education. n. 49, p72-75.
Van Eeden talks about the ever changing manner in which students of ‘Gen Y’ are becoming “digital natives” capable of experimenting, creating, and expressing themselves online. Whilst this article discusses the use of student produced video on ClassNet sites available to most schools, such practices would also be transferrable to the YouTube medium. One should consider the manner in which ClassNet also has the benefit of being closed to outside users and viewers. This article discusses the manner in which student creativity may be encouraged, and how visual and digital literacy may be understood and heightened through such activities.

Williams, B. (2008). Tomorrow Will Not Be Like Today: Literacy and Identity In A World Of Multiliteracies. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. 51.8, May 2008.
Here, Williams speaks about the changes in technology that are currently evolving in our world, and their subsequent implications on education, and “how young people read and write with words and images.” She goes on to discuss the ways in which learners of today are reading and writing more than they have in the past, but they are also reading and writing in ways that differ greatly from that of which we are used to. As their forms of communication are changing, so is the manner with which they approach these forms. Further to this, young people are able to manipulate their identities in this online world, speaking and writing in a way that is conducive to the creation of a new ‘cyber profile.’
Williams also discusses the implications for the classroom, suggesting a series of discussions surrounding students choices to read and write online when they are sometimes so reluctant to do so with books, pen, and paper.

Young, J. (2008). Youtube Professors: Scholars as Online Video Stars. Chronicle of Higher Education. 54(20); p. A19.
Here, Young explores the notion of university lectures being filmed, and subsequently posted on YouTube. In doing so, students are able to have access to lectures that may have only been able to be viewed or heard once in the past. This of course allows University students to revise and re-examine lecture material. Further to this, the article goes on to discuss the manner in which there is becoming a “participation divide” due to the limited access that some learners have to the internet. Young also explores the manner in which students are becoming increasingly comfortable with technology, thus expanding their digital and new media literacy constantly.


Media and Blog References to YouTube

Due to the fact that Youtube is such a popular video website, there is much discussion of it in the media and on current blogs.
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http://www.youtube.com/blog

YouTube contains its own blogspot where users can discuss and comment on current events and updates taking place on YouTube. This allows YouTube members to stay up to date with developments taking place on the site, such as YouTube live, or to vent frustrations that they may have in relation to the efficency of the site.




October 02, 2008 | Posted by: The YouTube Team | Permalink

YouTube Comes Alive With YouTube Live

Today we announced YouTube Live, a celebration of the vibrant communities that exist on the site, to be held on November 22 in San Francisco and streamed for a potential worldwide audience of millions.

YouTube users have been gathering informally for years, but this is the first time that YouTube is officially leaping off screens for an event unlike any other. With live performances, celebrity guests, original videos, surprise collaborations and much more, the event will mix elements of a concert, variety show and party, with YouTube phenomena always at the core. Here's a idea of what to expect:


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Go to www.youtube.com/live for all the latest news on the event, including a list of who's already onboard to appear, and to take our survey, which is your chance to tell us what you would expect from an event like this. (You can also leave a comment below or on the video above, or post a video response to that clip.) The channel will also contain information on how to apply for tickets to attend the event in San Francisco.

You'll be hearing from us a lot more about YouTube Live between now and November 22, so stay tuned to our channel, this blog and, naturally, the videos on the site talking about the event. Finally, we'd like to thank sponsors Activision, Lionsgate and Virgin America for helping to make YouTube Live possible.

Yours,
The YouTube Team

----

**Sign in** to comment on this post.


hereforyou2day (posted Oct 02, 2008, 08:18 PM)
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robrobbins (posted Oct 02, 2008, 07:06 PM)
Sounds way too slick to me. I bet all the vloggers and community will be ignored in favor of the celebrities, just like on the web site. You can count me out.
HydroCheez (posted Oct 02, 2008, 02:45 PM)
I know that this isn't related to the post above, but every time I try to update my channel design, it says "Error occurred while updating your channel." Can you plz tell me how to fix? Thanks!
thisisdz (posted Oct 02, 2008, 01:08 PM)
Why dont you fix your messed up service before you go spending money on worthless events like this?
Kayblue10 (posted Oct 02, 2008, 09:28 AM)
i didnt see smpfilms there :( lol
mirtheous (posted Oct 02, 2008, 08:29 AM)
There's going to be a really really diverse group of people. I almost thought when I first read the headline that YouTube is coming out with their own live stream feature. Maybe in the future. =)
projectblogsphere (posted Oct 02, 2008, 08:01 AM)
Very nice. A lot of familiar faces, from traditional media stars, to new media personalities, and to those who leaped from one to the other. Will be interesting to see how the community is celebrated/represented. :-)
projectblogsphere (posted Oct 02, 2008, 08:01 AM)
Very nice. A lot of familiar faces, from traditional media stars, to new media personalities, and to those who leaped from one to the other. Would be interesting to see how the community is represented/celebrated. Marking date on my calendar. :-)
KOHPelord (posted Oct 02, 2008, 07:58 AM)
Sounds a bit too media-influenced for my tastes. And even if I won tickets, I wouldn't be able to attend.
TheHill88 (posted Oct 02, 2008, 07:41 AM)
Cool! Nice editing on the video :D
IceflowStudios (posted Oct 02, 2008, 07:27 AM)
Very cool. Can't wait for the 22nd!
LukaIsntLuka (posted Oct 02, 2008, 06:08 AM)
Wow! This has some wicked potential! :-)



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www.mashable.com

This too is a current blog that discusses ‘all that’s new on the web.’ Among the popular topics that are currently being discussed are Facebook, Flickr, and of course, YouTube. In relation to YouTube, there are posts that discuss how to download from YouTube, YouTube launching Chinese version, and new technology being released that includes direct YouTube upload.

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Chris Pirillo has been broadcasting over the internet since 1992. He has a personal blog where he discusses technology, and is also a ‘top subscribed partner on YouTube.’ In a few of his many video blogs, Chris discusses YouTube, and how to utilise this resource.





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http://blogs.theage.com.au/mediamatters/

‘Media Matters’ is a blog found on theage.com.au. Here, Matthew Ricketson composes posts to discuss various forms of media. Amongst them, he has posted discussions relating to YouTube and its popularity, content, and merit. Whilst this blog does not simply focus on YouTube, it presents interesting discussions of many forms of media.

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YouTube brings out media giants' competitive claws.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/12/17/business/youtube.php

In the media and technology section of this publication, journalists recently reported the shift in attitude among TV executives in relation to the impact of YouTube. For a site that was once somewhat disregarded in terms of its impact by this group, we are now seeing thoughts in relation to collaborations beginning. This is, of course, a reaction to Google’s purchase of the popular video broadcasting site.

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“An anthropological introduction to YouTube” video of Library of Congress presentation

Jul 29th, 2008 by Prof Wesch
http://mediatedcultures.net/ksudigg/?p=179
In this presentation, Professor Michael Wesch discusses the nature of YouTube, and how this phenomenon is impacting on society. He introduces the concept of YouTube, what may be viewed on it, and how it has evolved. Professor Wesch discusses some of the more popular and well known YouTube stars such as LonelyGirl15, and emokid21ohio as he tries to unravel this current and popular source of media.
There are also a series of responses to this video from both teachers and students alike.


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YouTube’s Growth Worries Media Giants
http://searchengineland.com/youtubes-growth-worries-media-giants-10094.php
Again, this article discusses the purchase of YouTube by Google. Here, it is discussed in terms of its merit as a search engine.

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Big Media vs. YouTube & Google: Smart or Not?
http://gigaom.com/2007/10/22/big-media-vs-youtube-google-smart-or-not/

Giga Omni Media is a network of sites that discusses emergences in media and technology. They provide news, opinions, and analysis on many media and technology based concepts which are written by experienced journalists.
In this particular article, Gigaom talks about the way in which large United States based television networks are taking their online video’s away from YouTube in order to establish their own online video networks.
Gigao also allows users to post comments and opinions on the articles they have read.



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To the Media, YouTube Is a Threat and a Tool
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/30/AR2006103001198.html
This article discusses the way in which the media are turning against YouTube, and demanding that their videos be removed from the site. It reports the global demand for this removal, reminding readers that this is not just coming from United States television networks, but also from unexpected corners such as Japanese authors and copyright holders. In reading this article, one is able to gain a greater understanding as to how the greater media population feels about the emergence and evolution of YouTube.

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YouTube vs. The Media World: Mutually Assured Destruction
http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ratcliffe/?p=261
This blog is within an online technology news site, and is written by veteran journalist Mitch Ratcliffe. Here, he discusses the illegal sharing of videos on the popular site. He examines the broad nature of possible lawsuits against the site due to its unauthorised airing of copyrighted materials, and the difficulty of establishing network based ‘video portals.’
This blog also allows for members to comment on the articles written for the site.

YouTube in Use

YouTube, or other video sharing sites are becoming common tools for teachers. Resources relating to YouTube
can be found at:

www.youtube.com
Here, virtually any video can be found exploring any topic or genre.
http://www.squidoo.com/youtuberight
This site gives you step by step directions on how to make your YouTube videos looks fantastic.
http://newsfilm.bufvc.ac.uk/
Gives viewers access to YouTube style broadcast of news stories from the 20th Century. This would be a useful asset in the History classroom.
http://australianscreen.com.au/
Here, links to scenes from Australian films, documentaries and TV programs can be found. This site can be of use in many classrooms, from English and History to junior level Social Studies and senior Film Studies.
http://www.bigthink.com/
Again, this is a YouTube style site where academically sound videos may be found. These include interviews with poets and authors, which would be of great value to an English teacher.
CENET Web pages
In my own classroom, I use downloaded and saved YouTube videos on a regular basis. I am not only able to save such videos and burn them to a disc for future use, but can also provide links to them through the CENET web pages that I have set up for each of my classes.
www.jumpcut.com
This site is quite similar to YouTube, but also allows users to upload still pictures, along with video.
www.eyespot.com
This site is also very similar to YouTube, allowing members to create and upload video content.
http://one.revver.com/revver
Another site similar in theory to YouTube


Uses for YouTube in the Classroom

There are many uses for YouTube within an English classroom. It allows teachers access to resources that may otherwise be difficult to locate. Also, YouTube allows teachers the opportunity to provide students with new and alternative methods of undertaking traditional tasks.

YouTube may be used to locate specific excerpts of films that may be shown to classes. For example, the following excerpt from Dead Poets Society may be used as an introduction to a Year Eight poetry unit.


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Dead Poets Society- What Will Your Verse Be?


Again, for the same group, another excerpt may be used later to assist and inspire those who are struggling with their own poetic writing.


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Dead Poets Society- I Sound My Barbaric Yawp!


Using YouTube in this fashion allows teachers to pinpoint specific scenes from films that they wish to use with their classes, and have these directly at their fingertips. There is no need to be scanning through entire films in order to locate the desired scene, and also alleviates requests from the class to watch the whole film!!! Having these clips saved also allows teachers to place selections on school networks, allowing them to be accessed by multiple users at the one time, and in later years. These benefits, especially the first mentioned, are of great advantage in high schools where many same subject classes run on the same time line. This also prevents the difficulties that occur when two seperate classes wish to use the same DVD, and the school only owns one copy of it. Furthermore, teachers are then able to load the clips, or links to the clips to class CENET pages, allowing students to access and revise the content of the clips at thier own leisure.

However, YouTube can also be useful in locating video that would otherwise be very difficult to locate. In a recent Year Nine advertising unit, students viewed a series of TV advertisments that had won various awards. Without YouTube, such advertisements would have been terribly difficult to attain, thus preventing an enjoyable element of the topic from being explored. In utilising YouTube, I was able to download complete copies of all the required Tv ads, and was able to play and replay them for the class. Students were able to access links to the ads on our CENET space, and then review them in their own time. This allowed them to complete subsequent activities with greater ease, and allowed me to save a fantastic resource for future use.



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Cadbury 2008- A Glass And A Half Full Of Joy
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Dove Onslaught
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Doritos- Live The Flavour.




YouTube would also be useful to allow students different ways of completing 'traditional' English tasks. Activities such as journal entries, reading logs, and responses to texts could be completed in the form of a video blog. Students could be asked to script and then record their own short video blogs as a form of response to a text instead of just submitting in the usual written form. This would allow students the creative freedom to make the task their own, whilst still ensuring that they are completing the written element of the tesk in order to improve their writing skills. Students may also like to create video blogs in response to those of their classmates.

Further to this, students may be able to stage and film their own Shakespearean productions, and then upload them to YouTube. After viewing traditional and modern adaptations of Shakespearean plays such as Romeo and Juliet, students may be placed in groups and asked to stage and film a chosen scene from the play according to their understanding of it. This would allow students the opportunity to physically explore notions of costuming, lighting, sound and camera angles which they otherwise would be passive participants to. Whilst most struggle and tend to avoid and dread the idea of studying Shakespeare, this activity would allow students, in a sense, to take ownership of the play, and to connect to it on quite individual levels. At the end of the unit, the scenes could be downloaded again, and burnt to a disc, allowing the class to view the work of their peers. Students may then complete either written, or scripted, filmed, and uploaded responses to the work of their classmates.

Teachers would of course have to investigate the manner in which such videos would be secure to prevent them from being viewed by the public.





Tutorial One: Second Life


Questions:
  1. What do you know about Second life already? Second Life is a virtual world, online. People are given the opportunity to explore this world in any way that they wish, creating either a life-like or fantasy representation of themselves to do so. Second Life allows people to connect and meet with people that they ordinarily would not have the opportunity to meet, and to attend events that they otherwise would not be able to attend. Second Life also provides people with a means of expressing themselves freely. In terms of education, Second Life may be used to open doors that would otherwise remain closed, and may provide new and intriguing ways of engaging students.

  1. What were some of the key ideas made in the video? The video addresses the ideas of creativity and freddom to be artistic within the realm of Second Life. The symposium allowed all people to contribute to a collective idea and to be creative whether they had previously thought themselves to be or not. It also encouraged people to experiment with new ways of creating any creating meaning, and of doing so in a completely free and judgement free environment.

  1. What range of spaces were reflected in the wiki and in the SimTeach 12 report? The wiki talks about spaces in Second Life that people can visit to hear discussions, presentations, and have shared learning experiences. In places like the New Media Consortium Campus, presenters can even show slides and stream their voices into online presentations. It also talks about the ability to attend book discussions with authors, or just other members of the Second Life community to discuss current works. There are also spaces where people can involve themselves in online role plays and simulation based training, presenting another interesting element to the educational side of Second Life. I particularly like the idea of spaces that allow users to visit libraries, art galleries and museums, along with the ability to experience historical recreations and re-enactments. This allows both teachers and students to potentially experience and explore places that they might otherwise not have access to.
The SimTeach 12 report talks about spaces where people can go to listen to lectures about ‘cutting edge research,’ such as John D. Bransford’s L.I.F.E Lecture, or can visit museums such as the International Space Flight Museum. It also introduces Global Kids Island, a place where children between the age of 13 and 17 can go and explore the notion of Second Life. There are places within Second Life that people can visit to see exhibitions, and take place in 3D lessons relating to various topics.
Both of these resources allow one to further realise the extent of Second Life, but more importantly, the extent to which Second Life can be used by educators and students for educational purposes.
  1. What are the questions you think would make an interesting discussion?
I think it would be interesting to discuss using Second Life within secondary schools. This may include discussions from why the site is blocked in government schools, to how to use it effectively in a classroom of thirty teenagers. I can certainly see how Second Life could be used within my current school, and think it would be a fantastic resource if correctly utilised.

Reflection:

a) What makes Second Life unique and of interest to so many different groups of people?

Second Life is unique and of interest to so many people because it allows individuals to explore and blend fantasy and reality. They are able to experiment with interacting among different communities, races, and cultural and social groups that they otherwise may not experience. People are able to experiment with identity, and personality, and may even be able to revisit elements of their personality that they had long forgotten about, or even subdued. Second Life allows people to experiment with their different perceptions of their own identity.

b) What do some of the stories and case studies tell us about the worth of a space such as Second Life in their lives?

The stories and case studies show that people may grow and develop offline as they experiment and explore their personality online in Second Life. It allows one the opportunity to carry out such explorations without the influence or judgement of others. It has allowed people like Kat Ramirez to explore the intricacies of her ‘evil genius’ personality, or others to live in their ‘idealised body,’ or free from the discrimination that they experience in reality.

c) What are some of the potentials for using Second Life in and across a range of contexts?

Some of the potentials for using Second Life in and across a range of contexts include the ability to explore various cultures and sub-cultures freely and without worry. It allows people to either come out of the shells they are living within, or even to hide behind the avatar and the personality that they create in Second Life. Through role-plays, people are also able to experiment in an ‘open-ended’ fashion providing limitless opportunities.

d) How might you now answer your own questions before viewing the slides? What is left unanswered?

My questions still remain unanswered as I am considering Second Life mostly from a secondary education perspective. I still question how Second Life could efficiently and effectively be used I a secondary school context, but recognise that there are elements of this resource that could provide endless opportunities to educators and students alike.
In saying this, outside of this context, Second Life could be a useful tool when exploring psychological issues as it would provide a mass of new and fascinating data.

Tutorial Two: Avatars

Comment on what aspects of the presentation you found intriguing or surprising and why.

I found a number of aspects of the presentation interesting. These include the following:
  • The idea of considering the avatar in terms of its relevance as a visual text. (The idea of ‘reading’ avatars.)
  • The idea of the identity as a performance that uses both text and body as mediums to perform through.
  • Repeated ‘performances’ allow people to get to know us.
  • Interesting that Second Life avatars reflect the ideals, and idealised concepts of Western Beauty. Is this surprising? No. In being this way, it is then that it is completely logical to believe that people are fulfilling elements of their lives that are dormant within the realm of reality.
  • Women find it empowering to dress and have fun with their avatars. Again, this is not really surprising.
  • “Being entertained with my own performance.” Isn’t this exactly what is happening with many of our students… A vast majority of them would own some type of gaming console where exactly this is happening… They are being entertained by their own performances, or the performances of characters of which they have control. The only real difference between these interactions and Second Life may then be thought of in terms of the individual’s power to control their ‘online’ or ‘gaming’ appearance.
  • Through the use of the avatar, individuals are able to enhance the elements of their personalities that they feel comfortable with, whilst ignoring those which they would prefer to be without.
  • People are also able to project elements of their inner live that they are otherwise unable to project. Second Life gives people the benefit of anonymity.
  • Whilst the avatar may originally be used as a ‘game,’ it has the ability to blossom and be used for many other purposes as its owner develops their Second Life personality further.
  • Even within Second Life, there are stereotypes, and those that fall victim to them.
  • People are able to innocently explore alternative personas, and to experience new friendships that they would not experience in real life. They are able to innocently explore their various curiosities.
  • Questions about revealing the identity of the ‘real person’ ultimately arise. How will this be dealt with avoiding any ‘awkward moments?’
  • People are able to experience a new sense of freedom in the world of Second Life.

I found these points to be of particular interest because I had not previously considered the avatar in such a manner. The presentation allowed me consider that avatar in a completely new fashion, and therefore has presented me with the opportunity to discuss this.



Tutorial Three: Fun and Play

What are the key ideas of the presentations?


  • Games concerned/ deal with the notion of “hard fun,” that being fun that requires one to solve problems.
  • It is best to ‘drive users to challenges at the end of their ability.
  • In the world of games… making a wrong choice should cause a set back for the player.
  • Not having set backs makes the game less fun, therefore they are an integral part of the concept.

Pleasure, Play, Participation and Promise.

  • Having a transformative affect on peoples online lives… Changing the way that people experience the web.
  • When people are given the opportunity to play, they are more encouraged to want to learn.
  • Online play gives learners a place to experiment that is safe and consequence free.
  • Online play allows learners to learn in a manner where they can be innovative problem solvers, creative thinkers, and where they can consider things in a way that they may otherwise not be able to… Again free of consequence, and in a safe manner.
  • Teens are experimenting with the ways that they express themselves online, thus broadening their vocabulary, grammar, and English practices in general.
  • When playing, learners are able to view the same problem from various viewpoints.
  • Magna- allows for emotional content to be revealed that is otherwise dormant in paper based resources.
  • Online identities… Allow users to experiment with identity in many varying ways.
  • They allow for teens to become their fictional characters… They can escapes here.
  • Online play allows users to participate in their learning on a whole new level.
  • Learners that participate in online communities and games are able to develop a new way of speaking, or communicating. They may then be able to use this new way of communicating in their offline lives.
  • The cost of failure is low when game playing. Therefore, players are much more willing to take risks that ordinarily, they would not.
  • Interaction allows players to engage with their learning more.
  • Participation makes the learning experience much more enjoyable.
  • Physical and other barriers are removed when learning via play.
  • Having fun whilst learning allows learners to feel empowered.


Gaming

James Gee- 1

  • Stories in video games… Videos as a new form of narrative.
  • Story is the basic metaphor that determines what the look and feel of the game are.
  • Stories are a set of meanings produced by players.
  • Video games can no have a great ‘top down story’ due to the fact that the players are making the meanings… Therefore it will never be a profound story line. This causes some to state that video games can never be art.
  • Two forms of story… Designers ‘top down story,’ and ‘the virtual real story,’ the players created story.
  • Every player will create a different story, based on their skill level, and also the order in which they choose to experience the game… The players trajectory.
  • Meanings are personal, and built by audiences.

This is an interesting concept as it allows for students to experience and analyse the text in terms of their own individual experiences of the narrative. It could certainly be used as a tool to have reluctant learners and writers creating their own narratives.

James Gee- 2

  • Commercial games exploring only 1% of what is available.
  • We are at the beginning of the adventure, and are only experiencing what commercial writers are producing.
  • Playing games may even be thought of as productive learning. The gamer is an active ‘producer,’ not just a passive audience.

Students are given the opportunity to build their own games. They go from being passive to active producers and creators.


James Gee- 3

  • All thinking has an emotional component, and must have this in order to be deeply stored in the brain.
  • If nothing is at stake for a learner, they don’t process very well. Games allow for an audience to trigger an emotional charge. Therefore, they may allow for deeper learning.
  • Players purposely confuse themselves with the characters they are playing.
  • Games are played through a melding of the computer character, and the actual player.

Playing games allows the player to experience a different personality without the major risks and safety issues that exist in the real world. Players may then have the experience of playing a different character, in some ways, similarly to how they may experience a different character in a play.


James Gee- 4

  • Players able to take on the persona of a troupe of soldiers. This allows students/ players to experience a life outside of their own.
  • Players are able to become and learn how to behave as ‘professional soldiers’ do.
  • This ‘fully trained group of people’ can, in a sense, pass on their knowledge to players. Therefore, players are able to learn some skills from the game.
  • Performance before competence.
  • The contribution levels of players and game characters changes throughout the game experience.
  • You must play according to their rules, morals, and value systems

This allows players to experience a different set of constraints and ‘professional practice skills,’ therefore building their levels of experience in a completely different manner to that available to them otherwise.


James Gee- 5

  • Players are able to experience a different way of seeing and being in the world when they play a game.
  • The player is able to play, plan and strategise in order to get through the game.
  • Students are able to experience trajectory careers.

Students are able to experience different lifestyles that they would otherwise be shut off from. This allows them to broaden their spectrum of experience.

James Gee- 6

  • Civilisation building skills provided by these games. Again, this is individual to each and every player that experiences them.
  • Players are able to pick the skills that their game character develops.
  • Individuals are able to develop individual problems. They have different problem solving skills, depending on the gamer that has controlled them.
  • One is able to then say that these games are giving their players the equipment for living, and ways to think through problems.

Playing games such as these mentioned by Gee allow students or players to develop their problem solving skills in a way that they otherwise would never experience. This could be used in the English classroom to assist students in creative writing, for example, as they have a new set of skills with which to work and relate to.



The use of gaming in the classroom could be useful for students to analyse in terms of visual literacy, and the manner in which ‘story’ can be created. Students would be able to comment on the use of ‘camera angles’ lighting, and perspective. Also, they could analyse the use of colour within the games and talk about the representations of these colours symbolically. Students may also like to analyse the nature of characterisation within games in order to gain a greater understanding of them in terms of visual literacy.

Teachers may be able to have students experience these games individually, and experiment with the different types of story that they can create. This may then be transferred into writing narratives based on their individual experiences of the same basic srtoryline.