Using Video: Information is Power

9 Jun

Since school is out, I’ve been having the time of my life, exploring new mediums and modes of expression and teaching. I took over an hour of footage before school let out and am taking some time to edit and post them to TeacherTube. But I’m also connecting within the YouTube community. I’m planning on doing more creative things on YouTube, which means not everything will be as “professional.”

The great thing is watching what other people are doing and how they are doing it. I was talking to an assistant principal awhile back and letting her know some of the things I was doing. “You mean they have educational videos on YouTube?”

Yes, yea they do. In fact, YouTube is a treasure trove of knowledge and information. Yeah, I subscribe to an X-men cartoon channel and Al Yankovic’s “White and Nerdy” video is among my favorites along with the Guacamole Ukulele song. Kind of a theme going on there.

But there is a world of knowledge out there waiting to be discovered. My one subscriber, so far, is Dr. Melvin Koplow aka drmdk. His YouTube channel is here. There’s some good information there, as he got the idea to videotape short interviews with doctors and experts from a variety of fields and disciplines, making medical information available to anyone. The information is fascinating and cutting edge and he is truly on to something. I will warn you that it helps to have a keen interest in the content, as the interviews and videos are a bit on the dry side, but they are also less than 10 minutes long each. And in these videos, especially in the autism section, you can see what the doctors and experts say.

While information and knowledge is power, it’s up to individuals to decide whether or not they want to be ignorant. Hat tip to Liz who found a good article about the costs of unproven and sometimes dangerous treatments for autism. Dr. MDK does cut through much of this with a number of his videos on the subject. In fact, one of the the reasons Dr. MDK started making these videos is linked to Liz’s latest blog entry here. You can see Dr. MDK talking about why he’s making these videos here. He talks about how there are ghostwriters done by people who didn’t even do the work or research. There is something about having a face and a voice attached to the information instead of just a written page.

And that’s part of what I’m doing. I’m putting myself out there, where you can see what I’m doing and who I am with real, actual students. You see who I am. This isn’t just some anonymous blogger anymore. It’s someone more real. Back when I posted my Fleecing article, I initially got a lot of comments from people who agreed with it, but as time wore on, more and more parents started commenting and many of them stated how these controversial therapies had helped or cured their kids.

Where’s the before and after YouTube videos?

I have some that I’m working on, and you can judge for yourself. Before and after videos are one reasonable measure of validity, according to Kazdin’s authoritative work on single-case research designs. But I haven’t seen any. Why isn’t this very simple method used to lend at least a minimum of validity to any of these treatments? Because there is none? That’s not to say that method alone would be sufficient to prove anything as much as support some of the ideas. Yes, YouTube could be a vehicle for helping promote legitimate treatments for autism. You can look and see several videos of kids getting behavioral therapy and track the progress yourself of some of the kids.

There’s good information out there, it’s just a matter of finding it. Or better still, creating it.

D.

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