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Posts Tagged ‘youtube

I am currently watching a National Geographic documentary series, One Strange Rock. It is narrated by the actor Will Smith and helmed by filmmaker and writer Darren Aronofsky.


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I have watched two episodes so far, Gasp and Storm, and they have left me breathless.

The series combines non-linear storytelling and beautiful cinematography to illustrate why life exists on Earth.

Good things can happen when Hollywood types and astronauts collide, just like what happened to our planet when asteroids and another planet hit it. Under the right Goldilocks circumstances, when the conditions are just right, we got planet Earth and this excellent documentary series.


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In the video above, Hank Green described a science fiction novel published in 1911 about “personalised news”. A century later, we now have news feeds.

The difference is that the personalised news in the novel was defined by the subscriber. The current reality of news feeds is that they are dictated by computer algorithms.

Neither extreme is healthy. If you choose only what you want to consume, you create a bubble. If you let something else choose what you read, you lose control. The latter process is also not transparent.

In the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica world, you stop becoming the customer being served products; you become the source of data and the product to be sold to others.

In between the novel and current Facebook fiasco is another reality. It exists only among those who take control. For example, I decide what I read with RSS. I decide who to follow and learn from with Twitter. Both lead me to reliable sources of information and carefully curated alternative points of view.

If you don’t control the feed, the feed is controlling you.

Here are two contrasting video answers to whether our phones are addictive.


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The first asks a question and provides answers based on what current models and research on addiction reveal.

The second already has an answer, likely one garnered from a straw poll or popularity contest. The outcome was assured, regardless of the facts. For example, it confused engagement with addiction.

The sad fact is that fewer people might eventually watch the first video and learn how addiction is defined. Instead, they might stick with the easy and lazy answers instead of the more nuanced and difficult ones.

You can never be too old to find your voice.


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Stephen Colbert recently interviewed Madeleine Albright on his show. According to Albright, she only found her voice at age 55.

The survivors of the Parkland shooting and Malala Yousafzai found their voices before they turned 18.

Age is not the barrier or criteria for fixing your voice. Your cause, purpose, and passion are.


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This video claims that it showcases “Things Every Teacher Can Relate To”.

Not quite. I am sure that most teachers here do not know what a snow day is. They will also not relate to “spring forward, fall back” time changes.

Likewise teachers elsewhere might not be required to pay for parking at school or know what to do with exam candidates affected by train delays.

Teachers share many things across the globe, but they also differ greatly. It is far more difficult to showcase or celebrate their differences.

For example, I am quite certain that most teachers here cannot relate to the plight of some teachers in the USA. The recent protests and walkouts in Oklahoma as just one example.


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Any teacher here worried about paying for parking or spotty wifi access at the periphery of a large campus needs some perspective. The video immediately above provides some.

In the YouTube video below, John Green told a story about two former Liverpool goalkeepers.


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Ever the masterful storyteller, Green highlighted how one goalkeeper took some advice, applied an unconventional strategy of another goalkeeper, and helped his team win the Champions League. He did this despite establishing his own method after honing his craft over countless practice sessions and matches.

One might argue that the goalkeeper could have stuck with his old habits and he might still have won his team the match. Perhaps, but likely not. The odds are stacked against goalkeepers in penalty shootouts. You see more goals scored than goals saved at the highest levels of football.

Something similar could be said about teachers and teaching. Their practice is also honed over a long time and often their habits are based on how they were previously taught. It is uncomfortably difficult to operate outside this box.

The thing is that teachers will not know if a new and uncomfortable method will work until they are brave enough to risk a difference.

Earlier this week, The Verge was one of many news sources to report that YouTube was going to link conspiracy theory videos to Wikipedia content as a fact checking measure.

Wikipedia confirmed in an official statement that YouTube did not tell Wikipedia about this move. This led at least one observer to remark “relying on the free labor of others is precisely how this whole game works”.

My observation is that this is just like how journals rely on university faculty to write articles for free, get other faculty to review them for free, then sell the published articles back to both sets on universities for exorbitant fees.

Why on earth do some of the smartest people on earth allow this to happen? Inertia. If schools move like molasses, universities progress like glaciers.

However, there is hope. Not only are open journals part of the Open Educational Resources movement, some academics are kicking back, as they should!

If you give away your work openly for free, then that is being generous. If someone else makes money off your efforts, then they are unethical. If you keep letting that happen, then that is being stupid.


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