YouTube – Socio-cultural context

“Thing 6″ for the MSc module Theory and evaluation of eLearning:

What is Wesch educating for?

The world is a fast changing place. The ease of communication is creating a collective conciousness where the voices of the silent majority come together in the form of ratings and view counts. These statistics may be considered to give an indication of what is popular and therefore acceptable. These statistics matter to those who put videos on-line and therefore affect what types of material people produce for scrutiny by the masses.

So are the meek finally starting to inherit the earth? Is the ability to reach out with sensibility exposing the short comings of tradition, the narrow mindedness of experts, and the acts of tyranny required to force opponents into submission? By adding a crude feedback path, can the desire of a few video producers to be popular actually expose the true values in society? Well, after those featuring global entertainment stars, the most viewed videos on YouTube are, at number 2:

and at number 1:

(Source: Top 10 YouTube Videos of All Time By Richard MacManus / February 9, 2011)

But these still remain in the realm of entertainment, so lets take a look at the YouTube Education Category. Top here (16-Feb-11) are, at number 2, a video encouraging people to wear their seat-belt:

and at number 1, a pregnant man:

That said, with combined figures of over 15,000,000 views (16-Feb-11), Wesch has achieved genuine popularity through reaching the size of approving audience that would have been unthinkable in his field at the turn of the millennium, if indeed such a field existed then! And here in all their glory, at number 2, the full “A Vision of Students Today”:

and at number 1, “Web 2.0 – The Machine is Us/ing Us”:


About mark8n

Facilitator of Learning Technology adoption and integration. Dad, Granddad and Motorcyclist.
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