On September 8, President Barack Obama called on the nation’s students to take greater responsibility for their education. Now, the U.S. Department of Education is asking students to respond by participating in a national video contest titled “I Am What I Learn.”
The website has a YouTube video introducing the contest to students.
The contest is open to active middle, secondary and college students, ages 13 and older. Starting September 21, through November 2, students can submit their videos on the contest website. The videos must be less than two minutes long, but otherwise, there are no restrictions on the style of the video. Winning videos will be chosen based on the following criteria: use of creativity, strength and originality of content, and ability to inspire.
- November 2 – 9, video submissions will be reviewed by a panel of judges, including Secretary Duncan. Judges will choose 10 finalists to promote on the U.S. Department of Education’s official YouTube channel.
- November 9 – 24, the public can view the finalists’ videos and vote on their favorites. The top three finalists with the most votes will each win $1,000 prize issued by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Winners will be announced the week of December 1.
- Each video must be submitted by an active student, age 13 and older, and a U.S. citizen or legal resident.
- Contestants chosen as finalists will be contacted through their YouTube account and must respond within seven business days to confirm eligibility.
- Finalists under the age of 18 must submit a parental consent form.
- Video must be two minutes or less in length.
- The Department of Education’s website (www.ED.gov/IAmWhatILearn) must be featured in the video.
- The video content must be original.
- The video must convey the importance of education, as well as the student’s individual academic goals.
My comments: This is an incredible opportunity for students to show their media and technology literacy skills to a wider audience! Don’t wait for your “video production” lesson set for May — if you can shuffle things around, why not?
And why limit the topic to “I am what I learn” – how about “I am what I do”, or how about some of our GenYES or TechYES student-mentors show “I am what I TEACH.” Learning is not just about input, but output too – it’s what students do that counts.
Yes, sigh, I know that YouTube is blocked at many schools. It’s ironic that the federal government is using this information channel without seeming to realize that their own regulations cause schools to block that channel.
And finally, several people commented on my previous post (President to speak to students) questioning the age limit. Why 13 years old? My guess is that because they are using YouTube to submit videos and also to contact contest winners, they are bound to the terms of service set by YouTube. YouTube requires anyone creating an account to be at least 13. This, in turn, is a direct response to the federal government online child protection regulations that severely restrict any online interaction with children younger than 13.
But enough of that, let the cameras roll!