Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Become a YouTube Ninja* by Dimitris Tzouris - Report

How confident do you feel when you decide to use YouTube for educational reasons? Are you really aware of how to use this powerful social medium in full extent?

Passionate with technology, a web enthusiast and a social media evangelist himself, Dimitris Tzouris gave a very interesting and valuable talk at the 22nd TESOL MTh Annual International Convention about how to use YouTube effectively.

Dimitris began his presentation by explaining what the asterix on the title of his talk meant. Well, those of us who did not know that had the chance to find out that the meaning is: “results may vary”.

Then, Dimitris indulged in a retrospection as far as how communication used to be in very old times. He mentioned the cave paintings that people used to draw back then in order to deliver a message. Visual communication gave its place to writing but, as he said, visual communication is in our DNA. This is the reason why the art of photography took ground. Moving image was then developed and along with the written script, the art of video emerged. According to Dimitris, teaching can be more engaging through video use. And he explained why.

First of all, he did a quick comparison between visual language and the printed word and he moved on to explain that a lot of research has been done on visual communication. Animated GIFs, creation of visual images and apps for smartphones like Instagram, Vine, Snapchat and of course YouTube are just some of the examples, products of this research, which prove how powerful visual communication is in the modern world. Constant connectivity can occur at anytime and in any place and this creates a whole new perspective of the world. Video has become prominent, easy and free and the possibilities are endless.

Photographs by Margarita Kosior

Before focusing on the effective use of YouTube, Dimitris informed us that 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute which turns YouTube into a very powerful medium. Millions of dollars are placed on this new trend and YouTube stars appear to become famous among young people. Then, he gave us valuable tips and lots of ideas on how to use YouTube at best way. Books being read aloud, TED talks, watching experiments and lessons from TED Ed (http://ed.ted.com/) are some great ideas which promote the notion of blended learning, the flipped classroom and the opportunity to dive deeper into a topic.

Moving to the practical part he showed us how to use buttons like “watch later," the safety toggle, how to block advertisements, how to save playlists, how to change the order of videos and how to download and keep a video offline.

Finally, he talked about the amazing opportunities that YouTube offers like coding and creating an audio library.

You can find Dimitris Tzouris' presentation here:

By Efi Tzouri

Interviewed by Lana Lemeshko

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