My school does something called Project Week; a week without classes where students explore whatever they want.
A LITTLE MORE INVOLVED THIS YEAR
The last few years I’ve just worked with students who were interested in making films for Project Week. They all were doing different things and I served sort of as just a mentor and helped them with editing. This year, I decided to have a group that was focused on creating YouTube content. Instead of just having them off creating their videos and editing on their own and coming to school when they needed help, it’s going to be a lot more of a structured week.
In the weeks leading up to Project Week (the week before spring break in March), I’ll meet with the students once a week. Last week I had them decide what kind of channel they’d like to make (if they didn’t have one already), pick which types of videos they’d like to make (with the goal to make three different ones), and find some inspiring videos of styles they like.
This next week, I think I may want to do sort of a case-study of a couple videos; what makes them great from the thumbnail, to their channel, to the actual content of the video. We have quite a few doing gaming channels but don’t necessarily want to break down a gaming video (considering most have profanity). I’m thinking maybe an ‘Odd1sOut’ video; great storytelling, high quality audio, animations that are simple but still communicate a lot, and non too clickbaity titles. May push this for a later week though.
I asked few YouTubers online what their week would look like if they were in charge. One YouTube who creates tutorial videos said he’d do this:
Day 1. Goal setting and perspective.
Day 2. History of the platform and case studies
Day 3. How to teach yourself anything on google, resourcefulness, gear talk, software options
Day 5. Brainstorm own channel idea
Day 6. Set up channel page
Day 7. Make intro video
— Justin Odisho (@JustinOdisho) February 2, 2018
I’m doing the first part already, I liked his case study idea, plan on having them create a pool of resources on filming & editing. I don’t think I’ll have them do an intro video; feel an intro video should come when you’ve actually got some content to intro.
THINGS I’M STILL THINKING THROUGH
Another YouTuber brought up another good point about when the appropriate age would be to help a kid start a YouTube channel:
For them I could think of a practical talk and approach if they are in high school.
Younger they could be very vulnerable to the more negative aspects of the platform
— Roberto Blake #SMMW18 (@robertoblake) February 4, 2018
I’m now wondering if having middle schoolers as a part of this group was a wise choice; YouTube can be a pretty brutal place. In the past, there have been middle schoolers who have had channels and experienced other students leaving negative comments on the videos. Dealing w/ the negativity will definitely have to be a part of the conversation.
I’m also wondering if three videos will be too much for one week, particularly with students who’ve never edited. I guess three can be the goal but if they can only do one or two, we’ll go with that.
I’m also going to take the students to Main Event, which is a big arcade, bowling, laser tag place and they have to make a video out of that. Can be a vlog, can be a video game review, or whatever they want. One student joked about reviewing ‘bowling’ which sounded pretty funny. One student did say today that he doesn’t want to do a vlog and asked if he had to make a video from the trip. I think stretching them to try and create some kind of video out of it could be a good experience but one student is doing an animation channel…I’m wondering what she will do. Hm. Will continue to share as this progresses.