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All Kids Should Make Their Own 'Minecraft' YouTube Videos

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BombPickle101 avatar BombPickle101
Level 60 : High Grandmaster Wolf
As schools continue to foolishly reduce students’ exposure to the performing and fine arts, kids are increasingly being cultivated into passive consumers, rather than active creators. They are not only losing the opportunity for free creative exploration in a variety of media, they are also missing the boat when it comes to learning valuable critical thinking and problem solving skills with the help of engaged adult mentorship.

Making YouTube video-game-videos is one good activity that can help nurture key skills that will serve children throughout their academic and professional careers. But more importantly, it will help them to practice and cultivate ways of thinking that are essential to living a good fulfilled life.

My kids started making their own Minecraft YouTube videos at the beginning of this summer. Both boys (7 and 10 years old) sit at the table together. With laptops in front of them and shared USB mic between them, they create videos using the free Screencast-O-Matic software.

They have been begging to set up YouTube accounts for years. At first they just wanted to comment on videos like Stampy’s, but I did not feel they were ready. I worried they couldn’t resist the temptation to write words like “poopy.”  Eventually, they discovered that their Gmail accounts included YouTube and I realized there was no holding them back. I would rather be in the loop than be the disciplinarian they are always hiding from, so I told them they could comment, but they should check to make sure the comments were okay with me before actually submitting them. This gave me the opportunity not only to monitor their behavior, but also to teach them etiquette. Soon, I trusted them and gave them free reign to comment.

Meanwhile, they have been making stop action videos with LEGO Minifigures and the iPad. They would beg me to let them upload them to YouTube, but I always said no: “You’re not old enough to upload videos to YouTube yet.” Mostly, I objected because the videos were inappropriate. I consider the creative media arts as a sort of safe sandbox in which kids should be allowed to explore whatever ideas and emotions they want. Foul language, aggression, and anger are all acceptable in creative expression and play. I would much rather see it in a scenario acted out between two toys than between two real people.

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08/01/2015 8:49 am
Level 55 : Grandmaster Pony
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