My second Teacher Homework Assignment from the Teacher Homework Project (explained here) was to create an account for the social media application, music.ly, and post a video of myself lip syncing a song of choice. I chose the most manly song I could think of, Britney Spear’s “Stronger”…
The video and reflection of my adventure into this platform is below. Feel free to skip viewing the video… 🙂
This assignment is something that would have scared me to death several years ago. I naturally don’t like singing. I love music. Just not singing. Being a father has softened me somewhat as I find myself singing Mickey’s Mouse’s “The Hotdog Dance” or Daniel Tiger’s “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” on a regular basis now, but before kids, you just wouldn’t see me doing it. Other than breaking my comfort zone, this assignment caused me to think about several bigger topics related to kids growing up in a social-media saturated culture. Here are a few thoughts:
- Followers, Subscribers, and Likes are very important to kids. Several of my 4th graders have mentioned goals they have to reach a certain number of subscribers on their YouTube channels. I’ve read other articles about the serious negative emotions people feel when a particular post they created on a social media platform was not received with as many “likes” as they had hoped. This desire is serious, and it is real. Somehow we need to be in the mix with this conversation as educators as these desires directly impact our students’ self-concepts, and ability to learn and grow safely.
- Simple is king, and silly is cool. The video I created is completely ridiculous on the surface. I’m a thirty-three year old man, with a music.ly filtered beard, lip syncing to a pop-star song that was popular in the year 2000. No talent was needed for what I did. Yet, my kids loved it. They thought it was awesome. This speaks greatly to the idea that we don’t need to create the most elaborate hooks known to man to get our kids engaged in the learning process. Fun, simple, and authentic work well enough.
- Conversations about social-media use need to be facilitated between schools and parents. I had no problem posting this video to my district-run YouTube channel. Nor, do I mind sharing it with a larger audience through this blog. However, if I were to rewind the clock and place myself back in my late-elementary/middle-school self, there is no way I would want this video shared with the world. Social media can be a minefield of verbal assaults, critical comments, and negative feedback. I can take that as an adult. Most developing pre-adolescents/adolescents cannot.
That’s a wrap for this post. Thank you all for reading. My third Teacher Homework Assignment will be to play the game/application, “Roblox.”
It’s time to see out rusty my video game skills are…