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Learning to vlog in #etmooc

March 17, 2013

Unexpectedly, much of my participation in #etmooc has come in the form of a vlog. At the invitation of Ben Wilkoff, I joined the Reflective Vlogging community on Google +, where I cross-post the videos that land in my untended garden of a YouTube Channel.

I accepted Ben’s invitation in part because I understood his reaching out as an example of the real promise of a cMOOC. In a course this massive, some of the best learning opportunities, I believe, will come not in the form of assignments from the facilitators but in the form of invitations from participants. Giving reflective vlogging a go is my way of also giving Connectivism a go.

I had another reason for accepting. A few years ago I watched a YouTube video by Michael Wesch, An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube. While I recommend the entire video, which is a recording of Wesch’s presentation to the Library of Congress in 2008, I found this short clip intriguing. It made me wonder about what Wesch’s students learned by putting themselves “out there” on YouTube. What had they gained? What had they risked?

So now I’m vlogging. And learning to vlog. And falling behind in my vlogging. And making commitments to vlog more.

Today, feeling inspired to film another in my burgeoning series I toured my neighborhood to do some location scouting. When I recorded several takes of  something I wanted to articulate, I reflected how my process is changing. I began vlogging with the intention to create rough, no-frills reflections. In spite of my determination to just speak into the camera for a few minutes each week and push “publish,” without concern for rough edges or flaws, I find myself learning and improving as a matter of process.

Here are some things I’m noticing.

1. I usually write down a few key points before I get started. If I don’t, I do four or five takes before I realize I need to get my thoughts straight or I’ll never be remotely happy with the result. Then I write down key points.

2. Though I’ve given myself permission to not labor over about the production quality of my videos (because I’d still be recording and editing my first vid if I did), I make incremental efforts to improve the quality each time. I’ve switched from using my webcam and not editing at all to using my video camera and doing quick edits in iMovie before posting.

3. I watch other vlogs, most recently zefrank1’s ashow and think about how I might tweak my approach.

4. Since I’ve never worked much with video, I’ve reached out to a friend who I know has some experience. He’s agreed to have me over while he’s working on some videos he’s putting together for work he’s doing with teachers in my district. I’m planning to bring a list of things I want to try, then make him teach me. While I could surely learn everything I will ask him by searching online, I’m looking forward to the face to face tutoring session.

As I was typing this blog, I clicked over to YouTube and saw this video waiting for me. I’ll watch it soon. Likely, the suggestions of a helpful stranger will inform my reflective vlogging practice later this week…

 

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One Comment
  1. Hi Joe:
    I appreciate your comments here, as I have just finished recording my first vlog–or, at least, what I think of as a vlog, namely putting what I was going to write about in a blog into a video instead. It’s my goodbye to etmooc, here: http://blogs.ubc.ca/chendricks/2013/03/22/goodbye-etmooc/

    I, too, have been inspired by Ben Wilkoff, as he makes vlogging look very easy and he’s quite good at it. Filming myself is something I’ve never been very comfortable with, and that bothers me…so it’s time to take up the challenge and get used to it!

    I ended up making some notes for myself because there were a lot of things I wanted to mention in my list of great aspects of etmooc, but I found that the whole thing ended up being too long. I wanted to aim for 5 minutes max, and it ended up over 8 minutes. I guess that comes with practice!

    I’m happy to hear that your experience in the vlogging community has been a good one so far, and that you’re learning more each time you do one. Maybe someday I’ll become a more regular vlogger too! If one doesn’t spend too much time editing, then it can be much faster than writing a blog post, I think.

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