Opening up thinking about education today for tomorrow - Imagining possibilities and solutions

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Learning the Dance - Learning in today's world

Today a friend of mine shared this YouTube clip with me:

Jonas, the young man in the clip, is the son of a work colleague of my friend. Notice his raised eye brow in the video! (It's very cute!)

What Jonas' Numa Numa Video brought home to me is the connective power of YouTube, even for our children.

I first came across
Numa Numa in the middle of this year when I stumbled across a YouTube clip, "An anthropological introduction to YouTube", on Michael Wesch's site, Digital Ethnography. About 2 minutes into the clip Wesch introduces the Numa Numa phenomena.

Numa Numa was a 2003 pop song from a Maldovan group, O-Zone. The song became popular in Italy and Japan.

In December 2004
Gary Brolsma looked down a video cam and performed the song in his bedroom.

YouTube was registered in Febuary 2005 and by April that year anyone with a web cam could easily upload a video to the world wide web.

Gary version of Numa Numa is here:

People around the world joined in Gary's joy by learning the dance - including the raised eye brow, and lip synching the words. Now a YouTube search for Numa Numa shows results for 1,200,000!

Michael Wesch draws on Douglas Wolk in reflecting that the phenomena is not a parody of Brolsma but rather, through YouTube, a new cultural order is able to be created. Wesch sees that the Numa Numa phenomena is a celebration of new forms of empowerment, new forms of community and new forms of unimaginable possibilities.

Watching Jonas in his rendition of Numa Numa I'd have to agree. He is joining in spreading the happiness, with real audiences, connecting with others. This is part of Jonas' world, and should be part of how he learns.

The metaphor of "Learning the Dance" is a powerful one for me. As an educator I need to learn the dance that is learning today, and be a part of that dance that is learning in today's world - the world of Jonas.

Michael Wesch's video is below (including list of timing for sections in the 55 minute video):

0:00 Introduction, YouTube's Big Numbers
2:00 Numa Numa and the Celebration of Webcams
5:53 The Machine is Us/ing Us and the New Mediascape
12:16 Introducing our Research Team
12:56 Who is on YouTube?
13:25 What's on Youtube? Charlie Bit My Finger, Soulja Boy, etc.
17:04 5% of vids are personal vlogs addressed to the YouTube community, Why?
17:30 YouTube in context. The loss of community and "networked individualism" (Wellman)
18:41 Cultural Inversion: individualism and community
19:15 Understanding new forms of community through Participant Observation
21:18 YouTube as a medium for community
23:00 Our first vlogs
25:00 The webcam: Everybody is watching where nobody is ("context collapse")
26:05 Re-cognition and new forms of self-awareness (McLuhan)
27:58 The Anonymity of Watching YouTube: Haters and Lovers
29:53 Aesthetic Arrest
30:25 Connection without Constraint
32:35 Free Hugs: A hero for our mediated culture
34:02 YouTube Drama: Striving for popularity
34:55 An early star: emokid21ohio
36:55 YouTube's Anthenticity Crisis: the story of LonelyGirl15
39:50 Reflections on Authenticity
41:54 Gaming the system / Exposing the System
43:37 Seriously Playful Participatory Media Culture (featuring Us by blimvisible:
47:32 Networked Production: The Collab. MadV's "The Message" and the message of YouTube
49:29 Poem: The Little Glass Dot, The Eyes of the World
51:15 Conclusion by bnessel1973
52:50 Dedication and Credits (Our Numa Numa dance)

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