YouTube as a Learning Resource - Adrian Chong

Task 1 - Research Paper Summary

Digital literacy in the 21st century is a requirement in modern educational landscapes, whereby students and lecturers are increasingly relying on resources such as YouTube as either supplementary learning material, or in some extremes, the main source of learning and even mode of pedagogy. This literature review focuses on the current trends of utilizing YouTube as a digital storytelling tool to engagement students in a deeper reflective and practical sense. Discussions also centre on how it encourages higher order executive thinking functions such as problem-solving, as well as how it sparks discussion and better self-expression. Adoption rates and barriers at the individual and institutional level were also a concern which otherwise didn’t severely impact on the promise of YouTube as a positive driver of the future of education.

Influential thinkers such as Michael Wesch, Judy Willis and Sal Khan lead by example through their online videos in establishing the new wave of change in “flipping the classroom” to encourage YouTube integration in pedagogy, under the proper guidance of experienced mentors. Such a wave points to a future of blurred lines in blended learning where the distinctions of faculties and academia pave way for students learning from non-academic professionals and experts in other fields.

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Task 2 - Professional Resource Summary

"The idea of " Tuberonomics" is how YouTube as a learning resource impacts the economic supply and demand forces at play in the digital age, whereby the global economy needs leaders, millennial leaders need education, educational institutions need the economy to survive and the cycle continues towards a balanced and sustainable equilibrium." - Adrian Chong

The findings from the first task's research paper is employed into the design, preparation and trial of a professional resource on "YouTube as a viable learning resource and tool" to empower students' learning in a gradual flipping of the classroom environment. Drawing from personal experiences conducting computing courses and from internal reflections, this resource is targeted at computing instructors as a main focus. The proposition is that we need to consider YouTube and flipped learning as a pedagogical approach to remain relevant as educators and also to keep up with the pace of digital innovation in the learning sphere. The fact that YouTube is a valuable learning resource is very prompting in figuring out how it can be incorporated into a learning pedagogy.

A trial was conducted with two computer programming lecturers to obtain their feedback and improve the resource to meet their standards of readability and usefulness. Some suggestions were obtained from them to improve the blended learning experience and create greater value in the resource.

The prerequisite before embarking on an effective YouTube pedagogy to achieve intended learning objectives and outcomes is to frame students' cognitive abilities and skills, tapping into their interests and motivations, and shifting the learning initiative and ownership to them. This is akin to student-centred learning and facilitating the development of their executive functions. Instructors then become facilitators of their students' learning, helping them through their learning challenges in class instead of spending too much time teaching.

In initiating some ideas on design and engagement, an analysis of a few YouTube assignment examples helps to pick out elements which make them interesting and valuable to students. The integration of YouTube as part of a blended pedagogy has its challenges in specific contexts, including a computing curriculum. YouTube assignments and lecture capture may be relatively easy to deploy with first year students whose scope of learning is still touching the surface. Much thought and planning must be done when it comes to more technical and complex topics such as programming; while taking into account the students' abilities and capacities to master the topics.

A case is made for deeper involvement of computing instructors in implementing the flipped learning mind set for themselves and their students, with the intention of training students to utilise higher-order thinking skills for the 21st century economy; and for the future sustainability of education as well.

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