Friday, July 06, 2007

An invitation to the YouTube Generation

In the USA Weekend paper there was an article titled, "Documenting the War" promoting Ken Burns' upcoming World War II special. I find Burns' work fascinating and this project is no exception. From the article:
"If young people could interview a grandparent or senior neighbor, they'd learn what this generation did during the war -- how, in shared sacrifice, they made their country richer and safer than anyone could ever imagine..... That's where the YouTube generation comes in. For the series, we used 40 of the hundreds of interviews we conducted. Now, Americans are being enlisted in the recording of history. Thanks to a cooperative effort involving PBS and the Library of Congress' Veterans History Project, anyone can get a camera and conduct his or her own interviews of a loved one who lived through the war.... I'm hopeful young people will take their YouTube-honed skills and use them for something like this.
America's most respected historian is inviting the YouTube generation to join him in recording the stories of World War II - before we lose them forever. I think about all of what we are trying to do...get kids to learn content by creating... With all the technology we have access to today, wouldn't documenting oral histories would be a great way for our students to learn history and participate in something amazing. I think what blows my mind about the whole idea is that in many schools...YouTube is blocked to both teachers and student users. With ideas as great as this wouldn't it be best to teach ethics than block great content.

Some links from the article include

Wouldn't it be cool to have students gathering oral histories on a variety of topics and other historical events. And why not use TeacherTube to share them?

Here are some other resources and guides on preparing oral histories.


  1. You might like this site - it's an Apple Learning Exchange item about a student at Hudson Falls High School who helped a social studies teacher create a powerful curriculum about living history. They interviewed WWII veterans in the area and created a large library of videos.

  2. Awesome--
    Thanks Sylvia--I am familiar with ALI as I am a mac person:)
    Will add that to my list of resources

  3. Hey Kristin! Video will definitely be at the forefront in classrooms! There are some great FREE Web 2.0 resources like and
    Just think if, kids all had cell phones which they can use in the classroom (ehem..) they could take photos, and record video easily for projects. Take a look at my latest blog entry It is a cool slideshow about cellphones!