Over the past few years, as technology progresses, more and more educators are trying to find a way to use modern visual tools in education (Mullen & Wedwick, 2008). Today's young learners have much experience with internet video and photo-sharing media such as YouTube and Flickr (Mullen & Wedwick, 2008). However, not only are these digital media tools useful for social networking, but are becoming more valid as aids for teachers in the classroom (Mullen & Wedwick, 2008). These forms of media can be used in a constructivist environment to develop meaningful learning experiences that not only develop a learner's technology literacy, but build upon a student's general knowledge (Mullen & Wedwick, 2008).
Both YouTube and Flickr can be incorporated into a constructivist classroom as valid learning tools. In 2005, YouTube was created so users could download and share videos with the public (Mullen & Wedwick, 2008). Althouh material found on YouTube should be previewed, Trier (2007) (as cited in Mullen & Wedwick,2008) cited that educators can use this as a vehicle for meaningful learning experiences (Mullen & Wedwick, 2008; O'Neal, 2006). Students can watch videos in order to become motivated and gather ideas, then create their own video and upload it on YouTube on its educational counterpart, TeacherTube (Mullen & Wedwick, 2008; O'Neal, 2006). Students are actively creating their own learning experiences through viewing and creating videos (O'Neal, 2006).
Flickr is a photo-sharing site that allows students to interact and manipulate images, then share their products with others (Dyck, "More Than Just Fun", 2008; AuCoin, n.d.). Barton and Hamilton (1998) and Lave and Wegner (1991) (both as cited in Davies,2007) are noted as believing that Flickr has the ability to make, "learning a social practice," (p. 549). Students can work together to explore different ideas and topics, then use these images to illustrate their understanding or analyze the image (AuCoin, n.d.).
Mullen and Wedwick (2008) wrote about one middle school instructor who had trouble helping students to understand the meaning of a term they were discussing in class. The teacher was able to find a video on YouTube that did not explain what the word meant, but instead created a discussion that helped students cultivate a geniuine understanding of the term (Mullen & Wedwick, 2008). This same educator also used a video on YouTube to review concepts that were presented during instructional time (Mullen & Wedwick, 2008). After one review, two of the leaners from this particular class became motivated to create their own song and choreography about the same concept they viewed on YouTube (Mullen & Wedwick, 2008). The teacher was able to upload their video on her TeacherTube account (Mullen & Wedwick, 2008). These students extended their own learning based on what they were shown on YouTube.
In using Flickr, a high school world history teacher had her students either search for pictures on Flickr or download pictures onto their Flickr accounts (AuCoin, n.d.). These images were used to study cultural propaganda (AuCoin, n.d.). She had students in groups analyze the images and comment on which elements of these pictures communicated propaganda (AuCoin, n.d.). When the groups finished with their image analysis, they shared their photos and ideas with other groups who were to add other comments (AuCoin, n.d.). In a "collaborative environment" students are sharing images and ideas (AuCoin, n.d.).
AuCoin, P. (n.d). NYC Helpline: How To: Incorporate Technology in the Classroom: Using Flickr.Com in the Classroom. Retrieed on April 10, 2009, from .
Davies, J. (2007). Display, Identity and the Everyday: Self-Presentation through Online Image Sharing. Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 28 (4), 549-564. Retrieved on April 10, 2009, from ERIC database.
Mullen, R. & Wedwick, L. (2008). Avoiding the Digital Abyss: Getting Started in the Classroom with YouTubee, Digital Stories, and Blogs. Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 82 (2), 66-69. Retrieved on April 10, 2009, from ERIC database.
O'Neal, C. (2006, September 25). Online Interactivity for Educators: A Teacher's Tour of YouTube. Message Posted to . Retrieved on April 10, 2009.
1. YouTube and Flickr are known as popular:
A. Video and Photo-Sharing sites. B. Public Records Information sites. C. Blogs.
2. YouTube can be used in constructivist learning environments because:
A. students can watch videos in class. B. students can watch videos that stimulate motivation and help them collect ideas. C. students can make videos that provide evidence that they have extended their own learning. D. both B and C.
3. Flickr can be used in constructivist learning environments because:
A. students can work in groups and make learning a "social practice" by analyzing images and sharing their ideas. B. students can upload pictures on different websites. C. students can manipulate images.
4. A middle school teacher used a video on YouTube to:
A. give a definition of a word. B. video tape herself explaining the word. C. find a video that created a discussion. The discussion in turn gave the students real understanding of the term in question.