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Answering My Brother Max About The Value of Video Mashup Assignments
August 4, 2010 - 3:45pm

"In four years at a fairly tech-savvy university, I never did anything with video mashups (or video in general) for class. What am I missing out on? What does video do that can't be done in other mediums?" (IHE 7/27/10 in a comment to Copyright Ruling + Online Video Platforms = Active Learning)

Max followed up his comment with an e-mail:

"I want an answer to my question! I've seen technology used in education without really contributing anything new to learning, and I think assignments like video mashups may be one of those things that are good in very specific circumstances but no better than a writing/blogging assignment most of the time".

What should we make of the fact that a recent college graduate, one who is more tech savvy and skilled than about anyone else on the planet (and my brother to boot), is questioning the value of student video mashup projects?

My responses to Max:

  • We only learn by teaching. The process of creating video mashups, of teaching the material using media, is one way actively engage with the curriculum. For some learners, creating media projects may play to their strengths in ways that writing only papers may not
  • Media projects are not a substitute for other forms of creating. Good media mashup projects include lots of writing, as the voice-over script needs to be written. Beyond writing skills, putting together a video mashup requires practice with other skills from project management to design, visual literacy to storytelling. These are all important skills in the 21st century economy.
  • Communication is increasingly visually oriented. Learning to operate in a visual medium is an important skill, just as writing and presentation skills are essential. As media authoring tools become easier to use, and publishing and sharing video becomes cheap and robust, more jobs will require fluency across different types of media.
  • Course projects built around video mashups offer hands-on learning, and an opportunity for learners to take some risks and share their creativity with their peers and the world. A well designed curricular media mashup project, one in which students are given adequate time and support and training, can both catalyze authentic learning and make the learning experience very enjoyable.

How would you answer Max?


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