“New stage, new reality, new role”

Teachers and the practice of video content creation on YouTube





video content creation, teachers, social media


Learning is being shaped/reshaped in this digital era and the pace of these changes is accelerated by the use of social media. Many teachers are spending an increased amount of time creating and distributing content via social media platforms. It is suggested that this practice can support their cognitive, affective, social and identity growth (Trust et al., 2022). At the same time, there is a growing body of literature debating the pros and cons of adopting social media in higher education (Willems et al., 2018; Hamadi et al., 2022).

Although there is a significant number of studies examining the teachers’ use of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for professional and educational reasons (Park, 2022; Davis & Yi, 2022; Randahl et al, 2022; Greenhalgh, 2021), a scarce attention has been paid to teachers, who create visual media content for YouTube. We aimed to explore the motivations and values related to teachers’ engagement in YouTube content creation practice.

As we analysed the several theoretical lines of literature, we are settled on a comprehensive framework for interrogating the data. From the outset, we viewed the YouTube platform both as a landscape for teachers to interact and create artefacts, and an affective space appropriated by its users (Reckwitz, 2012). To this we added the concept of imagined communities (Gr?dinaru, 2016) that connects teacher through virtual sociability and sustain them as they create digital goods. Goffman’s theory of performance (1959) offered an additional layer of understanding the sense of belonging to these communities. Finally, we suggested the value creation framework by Wenger-Trayner et al (2019), which includes five dimensions of value for professional development.

In the second part of our research, we applied our framework analytically to 105 YouTube video channels identified as teacher produced content. To date, in-depth, purposive, semi-structured interviews have been conducted with 15 participants (school teachers) through Skype, Zoom and/or Facebook Messenger. Our intention is to reach about 50 over the course of the study adding higher education teachers as well.

Our initial analysis showed the three key messages: 

•    Teachers take a proactive role believing that nowadays is the time of creating and sharing new knowledge;

•    Teachers signing up for this proactive vision become a part of the imagined community of like-minded colleagues;

•    The process of video-making involves constant research for new teaching ideas and personal transformative changes.

 We believe that our study may provide some implications for tertiary education. Importantly, it explores and analyses a different image of teaching and learning, crafted in visual media, which might spark enthusiasm to embrace the video sharing platforms in higher education and enhance agency in the digital world.






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