Youtube is a crazy world. There is pretty much everything and anything on its seemingly infinite pages. Mention the use of Youtube to many teachers, and their faces show feelings of fear and dread (though they probably watch it at home). After all, isn’t Youtube a depository for stupid videos.
Yes, I will admit, there is not shortage of stupid people doing stupid things on Youtube. However, lets not overlook it as a major player in the collection of video that may be useful for future generations. I am still trying to wrap my mind around this, but I have been thinking about it all day.
Yesterday, I was walking through a science lab full of microscopes at the gradeschool. The students were studing the microscopic organisms that live in the various bodies of water found in the area. I was doing some Podcast training and had one of the Flip cameras with me. I thought it would be fun to try and capture some of the organisms on video. I was surprised at how good the picture turned out. Granted, I didn’t have a tripod, but I was able to hold still enough to see things moving around. On Tuedsay, I am going to work with some students and set up a tripod to see if we can get some better results.
Ok, there it is. A bunch of microscopic creepy things swimming in water. You are probably now scratching your head thinking, “What does that have to do with scientific discovery? ”
This is my thought. Things change. Organisms, of all kinds, are constantly evolving. Organisms also adapt to their particular environment. That means that something swimming here in our water in Colorado might be slightly different from those (that are supposed to be the same) in Florida. Students have an opportunity to record their observations for the generations of the future to look back on, to study, and to use for comparisons. They are contributing to the real world of science. What they are doing is not just some simple, mundane classroom task. The implications of their work could be huge.
The more I think about this, the more validity I find in teaching our students to post their discoveries and work for others to see. I am sure that when Lewis and Clark traveled across the plains a couple hundred years ago, they didn’t know that their journals would be looked at as a scientific source in the 21st Century.
Ok, that’s enough thought for one post. My mind is racing so fast now, I am not sure exactly what I am thinking. What I do know is that this is big. Our students have the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to science, to social studies, to literature and to any other subject that can be studied.
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