What happens when you show dozens of teenagers how to grab anything off YouTube, morph it into their own popup video, and broadcast it back to the universe in less than three minutes flat (?)
Suddenly, in the time it takes to heat up a bag of Redenbacher’s you’ve got things like a short underwater tale, a dancing president, and a cat that can answer your questions. More importantly, you’ve got a fresh set of young learners who’re intrigued and ready to stake out their own special corner of a growing experiment we call the world wide web.
Popcorn #Storycamp was just a kernel not too long ago, born out of the idea that making is a great pathway to learning, and it’s easier than ever to express yourself online. All you need is a story to tell.
It can be about a retro style Robot invasion, or an important reminder to be safe out there. It can be about silly times with your dog, or a fun game of patty cake between two cats. It can make you laugh, make you think, or a little of both.
Suddenly a generation who’s probably never heard of VH1 has the power to author and curate their own version of the classic show to a much greater, indefinite, audience…all within minutes, and absolutely free of charge.
It’s enough to get the commander in chief singing “Shawty!” ♫ before the great halls of Congress! (My those popups are lovely sir)
Of course the fun is just getting started, we’re only halfway through the StoryCamp learning period. So far a lot of our youth creations are in the realm of silly and playful. This is often the case when first putting your hands on tools of empowerment, such as Mozilla Popcorn. Still, it’s my hope that there will be more sobering and important tales that our youth start to share as well. We’ll see what happens.
We started off the program by covering topics like creativity, fear, failure, the secret of going viral and more with Damian Kulash from OK Go. With the help of Cory Doctorow, we took a big leap into discussion on the power of new media compared to the old, as well as the ethics of that power, as experienced by remix artist Jonathan McIntosh.
Up next we’ll learn about fun ways to style a page with Michelle Levesque, important tips for media deconstruction with Anita Sarkeesian, and how to create a web native masterpiece from the perspective of comic genius Greg Pak and animation pioneer Tommy Pallotta.
It’s a good time to be a maker, and never too late to start. See you on the interwebz!
#all hail robots