The power of Youtube – Queen Rania wins (and we celebrate Jenny Luca’s win too)

Our own Jenny Luca has recently been recognised by the Victorian Institute of Teaching as the winner of the World Teachers Every Day competition. Well done, Jenny! You’ve certainly deserved this award, and you’re an inspiration and model for all educators.

Across the other side of the world, a member of royalty received a different award, but one which will be of equal interest to 21st century educators. San Francisco mayor, Gavin Newsom, presented the inaugural YouTube Visionary Award to Queen Rania of Jordan. Queen Rania wasn’t able to accept the award in person, so instead she sent a video.

Her acceptance speech shows that getting serious about something significant doesn’t preclude a sense of humour. Queen Rania warms up the viewers with humour and ends powerfully with a serious message: that suspicion, intolerance and mistrust are driving us apart. She says she wanted to kickstart a conversation in the world’s largest community. Her motto for the power of YouTube is:

We’re stronger when we listen and smarter when we share.

Queen Rania urges us to use the power of YouTube’s conversation. She admits that it’s not likely to change the world, but it will change some minds.

San Francisco mayor, Gavin Newsom, introduced the award by nominating YouTube as a dominant force in politics, a powerful tool for shaping policy, and communicating with the public world wide. He talks about this award recognising those who use technology to instigate change, who have had a real impact.

Mayor Newsom says that Queen Rania of Jordan has dedicated her time and talents to breaking down stereotypes, and combatting misconceptions about Islam and the Arab world. Her videos have created open dialogue around the world amongst millions of commenters and viewers. Her aim has been to encourage people to join forces and bring down misconceptions. Here is a message worth thinking about:

We can’t judge another culture through the lense of our own cultural compass.

So true.

Queen Rania encourages us all to make a difference through YouTube. She says: Your eyes can open people’s minds. She urges us to get our clips out there to create change. YouTube is a platform for the most powerful dialogue.

We need to look past technology as an end in itself, and realise its potential.

Thanks to Joi Ito for his post.

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6 Comments

Filed under Education, film, humour, internet, technology, Web 2.0

6 responses to “The power of Youtube – Queen Rania wins (and we celebrate Jenny Luca’s win too)

  1. I should have commented, Tania, because your post sent me to her youtube site earlier today. I hadn’t heard she was doing this. Powerful, and perfect for my unit on “what matters.” Thanks!

  2. Great to see you here, Susan. I’m comment-hungry. I’m interested in your unit ‘what matters’.

  3. You Tube has had somewhat of a negative connotation since its inception: people using video for all kinds of antics. But there is a power in this medium worth exploring. It could help shape public opinion positively! Great post.

  4. Like many other things, YouTube can be used for good and not-so-good things. It depends on the person behind it. Thanks for dropping by, Paul.

  5. jennylu

    Tania, you are so kind. Thank you for mentioning the win – I feel very humbled. And thank you also for pointing me to this video. It is going to be very useful – just the sort of message our administrators need to hear when they set about putting up filters blocking this incredibly useful resource. I can’t tell you how many of my students share with me the frustration of not being able to access YouTube. I live in hope that the filters will come down and our kids will be able to not only view the content, but create it and share what they produce at school with a wider audience.

  6. I was excited about your win, Jenny, as are many of your friends and colleagues. You deserve it.
    I showed a year 7 class this video today, and we had a good discussion about different ways to use Youtube, the superficial and, in this case, the meaningful, purposeful, powerful. We talked about what a powerful medium film is; the whole visual and media literacy thing. We talked about what it means that the world is becoming flatter, which, I think, was a concept that really floored them. The only thing was, after the film had finished, there was a picture of a bikini-clad woman in a provocative pose in one of the other youtube videos, and we got rid of that quickly.

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