Cranky Geeks just don't get it!

I went through the other day and found some new podcasts for my 1 hour bus rides to and from school everyday. I came across the Cranky Geeks podcast by John C. Dvorak. I listened to episode 31 on the bus ride home yesterday and was fascinated that here sat some of the geekiest guys in the business and they don’t get social networks.

John, Sebastian, and Gary all sat around talking about YouTube and why it’s so popular. When Matt Mullenweg, (founder of WordPress.org and the youngest of the group in his 20s) was stuck defending the social aspects of YouTube that make it so popular with the younger age group. John tried to say that the social stuff doesn’t matter. He just uses YouTube to upload videos and then link them to his blog. John even said “Who uses that friends, and comments thing anyway?” To which Matt replies “I do.”

It’s the same generation gap we see in our classrooms. We don’t get YouTube and its popularity. We see videos, kids see connections. We see a way to upload videos and share them with people by linking them back to our blogs, students see them as connections and as a way to communicate.

It’s been interesting to see how my student’s videos on YouTube have evolved. Every day I get a least someone subscribing to my account as a “friend” and a comment a day to the videos from someone. Lately it’s been the FireFox video, maybe because there’s been a lot of talk about FireFox 2.0 coming soon.

When we talk about making a difference, about contributing to society, this is what we’re talking about. This little project that would have just been another assignment is now a living piece of information. When David Warlick in is K12online conference keynote said

I am here and now, but you are there and then

really hit home to me.

There is a teachable moment in all of this. About once a week I allow the students to go check on their videos to see how many times they have been viewed and if any new comments have been left. We are starting to talk about how ‘scary’ the Internet can be. That here is something they produced on the Internet and forgot about, but just because they forgot about it doesn’t mean it’s gone. That information you put on the Internet does not die, it lives….forever. A good lesson on Internet Safety and being careful what you write/create for the world.

[tags]Internet Safety, YouTube[/tags]

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