In this lesson you will learn about how the Internet works to propel people into the spotlight. We will discuss why this might not always be a good or positive thing. We will also discuss ways the Internet has made it possible for us to meet unique and wonderful people all over the world. These meetings could never happen without technology because we would never be able to find these people.
Programs like YouTube can rocket someone to the millions of views status over night. In the technology/Internet world, this is called going viral. The idea is that something gets shared and shared again, and shared again - like a germ being passed from one hand to the next until everyone has the germ. Most kids think of getting something to go viral by doing some crazy skateboard stunt, posting a video of their crazy cat or dog, or pranking someone on camera. While these things may result in something going viral, they can also do a lot of harm to your reputation, your dog or cat's quality of life, and your friends' health or well being.
People that try to go viral probably never will because it's very difficult (maybe impossible) to predict what will cause millions of people to share a video across multiple social platforms or networks. The videos you are about to watch are all very interesting because they spotlight kids who do interesting things. Yes, they are unique and they know how being unique makes them see the world. We call this knowledge insight. Insight can be very useful because it helps us connect with other people - even people who aren't like us. In some cases, the videos haven't been seen by millions. In other cases the videos have "gone viral" in one way or another.
Your job is to watch each video, then describe what you saw in the video that might make you want to share the video with someone you know. You will open a Text Entry wiki, and copy and paste the table below into the wiki. Then you will watch each video and write (in the column next to the video) what you thought was unique or interesting about the person you saw. Finally, you will try to think of someone you know who might be unique in this or a similar way.
In this activity, you will discovery that you are not so different from the students in the videos you just watched. They have ideas, you have ideas. They have interests, you have interests. They have strengths and struggles, you have strengths and struggles.
So why do they get to be on You Tube and seen by big audiences and you don't? The simple answer to that question is, they decided to use technology along with the adults in their lives (teachers, parents, relatives) to make their idea or interest happen.
They persisted which means they worked on their ideas and found people who could help them learn. They didn't let anyone discourage them or talk them into quitting. They didn't shrug their shoulders and say, "That's something someone else can do. I'll just let it go."
Some people get one idea in childhood or their teen years and then spend the rest of their lives working on that one idea. Other people are full of ideas and spend their lives investing in more than one interest or thing. Great ideas can be ordinary like thinking about a way to make a healthier sandwich. Other ideas are less ordinary like figuring out a way to make things go without using fossil fuels.
Open a Text Entry wiki. Make a list of your ideas. You might have one that sticks with you all the time. That's good enough. You may have several that come and go. That's good enough.