Category Archives: YouTube

Can an educator become YouTube famous? Creating, comparing and critiquing an educational Vlog.

Part 1: Trying to Create a Vlog


YouTube Logo via Wikimedia Commons


I think I would be an engaging vlogger. I mean… I’m an engaging teacher (I think), so it should be an easy transition, right? I watch YouTube vlogs frequently, I bet I can create something similar. Maybe I can take advantage of the billion monthly users of YouTube for networking? But what avenue do I select to produce and createPinnacle studio is amazing and is what I used growing up, but a new version would cost money… so let’s try something free, while becoming comfortable with the medium in which I would be delivering the content anyway. Therefore, the means (for me) to create a vlog of sorts is through creating a video using YouTube and YouTube Editor! Clearly I will need to use a program like movie maker prior to upload and editing, but what can I do with YouTube Editor? What are the strengths and limitations of it? Let’s try it out and keep it short (under one minute is my goal).


Video: (To come later)

Here are some highlights had I finished my video!


  1. Includes links to resources and content.
  2. Personalizes information consumption (it’s like you’re talking with someone).
  3. Condenses into a short chunk.


  1. Reading is important! And it doesn’t (really) occur in this medium!
  2. Does obligation to create lead to staleness of content-delivery; bound to a particular character and the inevitable monotony? What if people don’t like me? What if I don’t like me?
  3. Expensive/time-consuming at start-up to establish professional content.

Potential for Teachers as a Content Tool

All I needed to create this is basically a script and a means to record video/audio (the latter of which may be mildly expensive/time-consuming, I just used my piano). Then I can add YouTube essentials to the video, like an ending part of my video with links to other videos? Ultimately, the YouTube Editor basically better utilizes the YouTube method of content delivery.

Part 2 – Comparing my Vlog to others

Rather than my video, let’s look/compare it to an example of a professional video, from one of my favourites, the vlogbrothers. Watch the video below!

Vlog Brothers: Understanding Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration
An educator replicating Crash Course w/ Petlak

Can I replicate this? What does one need? And, as Kyle and Natalie pointed out to me, do I even need to recreate it? We (educators) can throw in content and media (all created by others) organically throughout instruction.

Let’s say, hypothetically, I do decide to create my own. Creating a resource for other teachers in SK for health and environmental science could be very valuable and not only save them time, but also allow me to teach concepts if I’m missing due to extracurricular involvement. If I have created enough resources and taught the content several times prior to creation of the module as well, it should be easy to pick up and go (I’ve been writing the script every time I teach it), assuming I’ve accumulated the above and established comfort with the module medium.

But what about the impact on student learning?

In theory, it should be very positive.

Once the nuances of the format are grasped and the user establishes comfort, not only should the format add value to facilitating the content, but may even allow for greater engagement in the content, finding a balance with the right media.

Professional Quality

“Once the nuances of the format are grasped”, I say above, like that’s supposed to be easy! If professional quality is to be established, for starters, professional devices are required. Next, if you look at any of the Crash Courses, you’ll see no shortage of additional people involved in the production of the video; script-writers, fact-checkers, camera-person, producer, animators and someone to compose or create original music. As a vlogger on a budget, I have to do all of these. Unless I talk to Andres and he can take care of animation while I take care of sound.


It’s not like educators ever wear multiple hats, right? (Wrong.)

Devil’s advocate: as educators, we are morally obligated to continue learning, so dive in.


The start-up may be difficult, much like Justine addresses in her post! I’ve been making movies for fun since I was young so my experience with the medium is likely greater than most educators, so some of you may find the learning curve is steep and this is very time-consuming (even I found my limits, and it can be frustrating when it’s just not as good as professional vloggers). So, find your boundaries, and push your technological literacy limits (within reason).

Could you see yourself as a vlogger? Is it hard to establish confidence in the creation of this media? Do we even need to learn it?
Questions, comments, feedback – let me know!

– Logan Petlak



Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is


Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

My whole life I have had a problem with slacktivism, even before the internet got a hold of the term.  In my life, I have been less of a thinker and more of a let’s get’er done kinda gal because with to me with physical action comes change.  Perhaps, it comes from too many meetings (not mentioning which organizations) where people discuss the same issues every single meeting and no conclusion ever resulted.

Now, it really gets my goat when people join a cause on-line because it is #trending at the moment or because it may garner them some kind of personal attention by supporting the cause.

Another issue I have when it comes to slacktivism is that most people don’t do the research.  Let me talk about the ALS ice bucket challenge for a second.  I bet you more than a quarter of people who participated in the ice bucket challenge can not tell you what ALS actually is.  I know many people who actually refer to the disease as ASL.  What?!  It seems, at times, slacktivism produces misinformed or “under”informed populations.  Maclean’s magazine highlights some of these downfalls in their article: The Problem with #Slacktivism.  I have to say I love the following quote:

Don’t embarrass yourself by demonstrating you need a gimmick to give. If you want to help, just give money or time. Anything else is only about you.

So, I am going to be the devil advocate and say to all you slacktivists, ” put your money where your mouth is.” Pull up your socks, get out there, and take some action.  Go beyond simply tweeting the message and start taking awareness to the next level around your community – volunteer or start a group.  After all, actions speak louder than words.

BUT, I do have to agree with Abby Rosmarin (who is both intelligent and beautiful I may add) in her blog article “I Get It: You Don’t Like Slacktivism. Now Shut Up. Only Don’t.” Even with the all the attention seeking social media goers awareness, movements, and changes have been made for those who need it.  So, I say go ahead hit share and join the slackivist movement!  Just be sure to do it for the right reasons and while using critical thinking skills.

And for those slacktivists who didn’t do anything, but simply put a smile on our faces – we salute you.

What slacktivist movements have you joined and for what reasons?  Have you joined a movement and second guessed yourself after about what the cause really was?

Collaboration, Confidence, & Ripped Jeans

So, there is such beauty in the internet – we can connect, create, collaborate, or gain outside perspectives.  Like I have mentioned in posts before the options are limitless. This trend seems especially true when it comes to fashion.  As of late, social media has seemed to be flooded with accounts of fashionistas inspiring one another with their creative abilities and of course, their outfits of the day (#ootd).  Many of these accounts show clothing items that are a bit out of Baba’s price range, but are beautiful nonetheless.  As such, I thought this was a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with a fashionable friend to bring an affordable way to raise the bar when it comes to your revamping a pair of pants.

Put your hands together for my fashionable and funny, son of a gun friend, Jess Clarke (find her on Instagram @jesclarke07).



Jess’s inspiration came from this pair of jeans at Aritzia that are retailing for $218.

Aritzia $300 Pair of Jeans

Aritzia $218 Pair of Jeans

Pretty sure, that price is much beyond our budgets (not to mention we would probably have to pinch and sell about 500 perogies to buy one pair of jeans to share between the both of us).   So, Jess consulted with the good old and found this DIY Black Knee Cut Skinny Jeans Tutorial (perfect).

Jess then took an old pair of Forever 21 black jeans that cost approximately $10.90 and turned them into this:

Better than $300 Jeans

Better than $300 Jeans

Ripped Black Skinnies by Jess & Forever 21

Ripped Black Skinnies by Jess & Forever 21

After that I used the magic of the internet and technology to make a kick butt video of Jess and her new pair of jeans.

You can make a top model video like this too by using the Flow App from I-tunes.

Jess’s Steps to Jean Cutting:

  1. Confidence is Key.  This project wouldn’t have worked if she wasn’t sure of her self (see #babarevolution post on Doing It).
  2. Find Inspiration
  3. Gather Resources & Materials
  4. Share Your Resources, Materials, and Successes with Friends (Social Media the Shit Outta it).

And that is the beauty of the internet.   What have you created with your friends using resources from the internet?  Tell us what you and your Baba friends have done together.

Social Media Dream Jobs

HOW TO: LAND YOUR DREAM JOB USING GOOGLE ADWORDS by Lauren Indvik explains just how easy it was for Alec Brownstein to land his dream job with a little help from social media.  Indvik praises Brownstein for landing his dream job by using only $6.  Playing the devil’s advocate, I have to say it takes a lot more than $6 to land your dream job using social media.  It takes creativity and you simply can’t put a price on that.  In a world that is so saturated with fashion blogs, youtube music sensations, and betty homemakers trying to make it big, it takes more than just a couple posts –  it takes a creative mind and most likely energy to develop an idea that is not categorized as being ‘basic’.  This is the reason that I am finding it so difficult to create blog posts or something even worthy to blog about.  In a virtual world, where seemingly every perspective is covered can my words (posts) really generate thoughts, ideas, or a potential dream job (enter smiley-tongue out emoji face here)?

As in past posts, I give kudos to all the bloggers and social media mavens out there – this blogging world is definitely more difficult than it is perceived to be.   For some, it is a full time job or another job on top of the one they all ready have.

Jess Moskaluke is a great local example of a young woman who used social media to catapult her singing career into the spotlight.  Through Jess has been able to reach up to and onwards of over a million viewers on many of her uploaded videos.  Social media has definitely seemed to make Moskaluke’s journey into stardom easier for her, but I believe that between the Twittering, Instagramming, Facebooking, Youtubing, blogging, recording, and performing the girl works much more than a 40 hour work week.  On the other hand, is it really work if you love your job?

Here is Jess Moskaluke singing “Try” by PINK.  This specific video received more than 1 million views:

If you would like to support Jess don’t be afraid to check out her work on I-tunes.

Jess Moskaluke - Living the Dream with Help from Social Media

Jess Moskaluke – Living the Dream with Help from Social Media

What are your thoughts?  Is social ‘mediaing’ easy or does it take more creativity and commitment than perceived?

The Count

I wanted to try my hand at a short and easy instructional video on counting to ten in German.  To my surprise, it was much more difficult than I expected.  Not only did I have to think about my German pronunciation, there were so many other factors involved, as well.   Props to all those bloggers who make videos everyday – it is truly an art and science.  There were many more aspects other than the German language that I had to think about prior, during, and after the videotaping:

  • proper lighting
  • brush my hair
  • make numbers for the count
  • hold the numbers properly so audience can see
  • grab numbers as I say them with fluency
  • be articulate and clear
  • make proper eye contact with camera
  • download an app that allows video edits (Movie Maker)
  • complete numerous takes

I think that is it.  So, after all that here is my youtube video on counting to ten in German.  PS: I am embarrassed and dislike watching myself in this video (and all other videos).  Do you get this feeling when you watch yourself on screen?


Also, if you have any pointers on how to improve my director skills or German skills let me know.  It would be greatly appreciated.

German Numbers - Courtesy of Google Images

German Numbers – Courtesy of Google Images