NOTES: Origins and Context | See Also
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Origins of this content
I created this texteo in the summer of 2010 on the recommendation of my readers for the MIT Press who felt that some background about the course would situate users to the larger pedagogic project before they entered the video-book proper. Of course, this YouTour might also be of interest to users who are teachers themselves, as well as to those curious about online pedagogy: what learning in and through corporate-controlled entertainment might look like.
Content/form: "Within rhetorical pedagogy it was the practice of imitation that most required students to analyze form and content. They were asked to observe a model closely and then to copy the form but supply new content; or to copy the content but supply a new form. Such imitations occurred on every level of speech and language, and forced students to assess what exactly a given form did to bring about a given meaning or effect ... The divide between form and content is always an artificial and conditional one, since ultimately attempting to make this division reveals the fundamentally indivisible nature of verbal expression and ideas."[cit]

Culture jamming "sticks where rational discourse slides off. It is, simply, the viral introduction of radical ideas. It is viral in that it uses the enemy's own resources to replicate itself—corporate logos, marketing psychology, clean typography, 'adspeak.' It is radical because—ideally—the message, once deciphered, causes damage to blind belief."[cit]

DIY was a term embraced by a group of anticonsumer nonconformist punks before it was a TV shopping network.
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More videos related to the content of this page
I taught Learning from YouTube, an undergraduate media studies course both on and about YouTube, in the fall semester of 2007, 2008 and 2010. Our classes were recorded and put on YouTube, and all of the students' research and course work was confined to the form of either videos or comments on YouTube. We learned together in and about Internet culture, DIY media, and social video networking by reframing YouTube for higher education, critical reflection, and reflexive processes. Just so, I made videos too. But because of the limits of YouTube (and video), I also chose to blog in real time about these experiences. And then ... the course went viral: a telling if tiring opportunity for even more self-reflection and YouTube critical reflexivity!\

LFYT was an experimental, fun, public, and often-confusing class. Undergraduate students were asked to participate in the hard (and rare) task of producing their own original research and criticism of a massively influential cultural phenomenon, as it was developing, within its vernaculars, and on its own turf. (When we began in 2007 there was almost nothing, save that within the mainstream press and in the blogosphere, written about YouTube.) And within this controlled chaos, we experienced the strengths and limitations of contemporary learning occurring digitally, publicly, visually, and in corporate-owned environments—and then theorized through this doing.

Since then, I've attempted to systematize some of the pedagogical, formal, and cultural implications of what I experienced when teaching the class (while at the same time having it covered by the media and its students). I have given interviews, written articles, presented talks, made YouTube videos, and organized the large output of student video coursework into YouTours on YouTube. Some of these many approaches are included in this YouTour (click "Continue current tour" in the box below to watch my reflections about the class unfold in chronological order. Also, you may want to watch this HOW TO video for extra navigational help if you are a first-time user).