Introduction to Grassroots Video
Grassroots video is a user generated, independent, unedited or simply edited video that is made by anyone, anywhere, and for any reason. It is usually captured with a web camera, digital camcorder, or cell phone camera, and used offline or published online in a video sharing site such as Youtube. You may have seen the Iran riot and police brutality videos in the news lately. Grassroots videos can be used for something as important and motivating as political movements, to something unimportant like video of lip syncing to the oldies! Recently, I have used Youtube to learn more about fossil fuels, what regular people feel cause climate change, and what one town in the United Kingdom is doing about it. If it wasn’t for grassroots videos, I would have never heard of Lewes, the UK, and the interesting ten year plan.
This video is a great example of how you can be educated by a grassroots video online, for free.
Our project’s goal is to enlighten our EDER 671 colleagues about formal and informal ways grassroots video can be used to educate. Our team looks at grassroots videos in school specific sections of Elementary, Secondary, Post Secondary, and an All for One cross section, to allow visitors to understand the existing uses, pitfalls, and future potential of each area.
The introduction of video media in the classroom can make a real change in attitudes, creativity, observation, and attention of the students. A video camera directed physically on a class may bring some students out of their shell but it may also frighten other students. The fact that students can now make and post online their own videos quite easily may be an underutilized education tool. Teachers can use videos to capture, review, and share curriculum strategies and methods to identify strengths and weaknesses. Obviously visual learners should benefit from the addition of a video to more traditional learning activities. Videos can be downloaded to PCs, laptops, net-books, phones, hand-helds, to name a few devices and can be used for educational purposes on buses, ferries, trains... you name it!
Video uploading, editing, and procedures are not consistent from school to school or from district to district, and contradictory theories and processes exist today. Just think of how the use of educators' own video cameras to tape students may violate an enormous number of ethical concerns. Sure, a video showing how to safely use a drill press or saw may be helpful, but there may be multiple drill press types, or some additional information needing to be provided to the students.
The fact that videos are not formally published or edited can provide a major pitfalls learning from internet posted videos. There are definitely questions about their validity, and students need to be very critical thinkers when watching material from potential non-experts in the field. Perhaps spending more time in published textbooks and less time on the internet may be more fitting to accomplish formal learning goals.
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