Growing up YouTube was never a big part of my life. Around grade 7, however, I can remember suddenly being on YouTube constantly with my friends. We would play the videos for our teachers in class and would watch (then) famous videos repeatedly. ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ and ‘Fred Goes Swimming’ are a couple of videos I can remember watching numerous times. As Michael Wesch talks about videos going viral he shows different variations that can come from one simple video. When we talked about the Numa Numa video in class and watched the beginning of the video where we witness the remakes, I really started to realize just how many people can view an online image or video.
It is a slightly terrifying thought to realize how many people have access to a video or picture once it has been uploaded. As a future teacher what will technology look like in my classroom? Do other teachers realize how large the internet world is? There are many different opinions on technology in the classroom. I believe that it is important for students to understand how easy it is for something they post to be seen by a much larger group of people than originally intended for. In the YouTube video, Wesch explains how most of the videos posted on YouTube that go viral were only intended for an audience under 100 people. In some ways the ability to share something with the world is great and has worked in people’s favours (Justin Bieber). Social Media can also be a dangerous influence on society; people can post inappropriate, dangerous, or hurtful things online for the world to see.
I think that it is important to teach students about technology because Social Media is a such an influential part of peoples lives and technology is such so present in our world today. Banning it from the classroom could prevent students from safely learning about it and understanding more about how technology and social media both work. I think that it technology can have great benefits to students when used correctly and I do believe that teachers need to help guide students with it. Wesch says that over 50% of the YouTube videos feature someone aged 18-24, 25% aged 35 and over, and 25% were teenagers. The fact that younger kids are now gaining access to social media through their own phones or iPad means that they may not know and understand how social media works and they are likely more easily influenced. Teaching them safe ways to use the devices and technology that they already have may prevent them from making a mistake that can easily go viral in seconds.
There is a website that talks about introducing technology into the classroom that I read. I enjoyed one of the main topics they stated, which was ‘Learn it First’. I felt this was an important suggestion because many teachers do not know enough about technology and social media to be able to safely introduce it into their classrooms.