A Summer Project: Starting a YouTube Channel

The boys have been talking about starting a YouTube channel for ages. Both of them choose to spend most of their screen time on YouTube. They are usually doing research. Nanik likes fish videos (he loves The King of DIY, full of aquarium projects) and Hari splits his time between BookTubers, GMM and Cole and Marmalade. It's funny, this generation is growing up on video. I've always been better with words and reading. But both boys start their research on YouTube.

When school ends they always choose a couple of projects to work on during the summer. This summer one of the projects they chose was to work together on starting a YouTube channel for Maker Junior. I was more than happy to have them take this on. They obviously know more about this medium than I do. 

Through their involvement with Youth Ottawa, they discovered Youth Active Media. YAM runs multi-week programs during the school year. This summer they started one-week programs at various libraries and community centres around the city. Nanik took the program early in the summer. (You can see his video The Book Quest on YouTube.) Hari's just finished his week. (Hari's video is Searching for Sasquatch.) They spent several weeks researching camera equipment. Maker Junior provided the budget.

[Note on summer projects: I discovered, this summer, that if you ask your kids to do something, and you agree with what they're doing, you gotta provide a budget to go with it. ]

They worked hard to get the equipment ready for Maker Festival in Toronto. They wanted to interview people and ask them some questions they've been thinking about: "What is a maker?" and "Do makers have to use tech?" I am thrilled with the end result.

 Working on the video at the Maker Festival helped them meet new people and explore more of the event. Asking the questions started some great conversations! From my perspective, Mom's perspective, I thought this project helped them:

  • discover their strengths (So, um, Hari is a natural in front of the camera. Nanik loves research and equipment. Video editing software has been a challenge for both of them but Nanik is doing a great job of it so far!)
  • continue to build their research skills, with real world results 
  • gain confidence in their abilities to learn something new and apply it
  • reach out and meet a community of people

And they've only just begun! It's been a pretty fantastic beginning though. On their first day of filming, ever, they managed to get an interview with John Tory, Mayor of Toronto. What a scoop! And John Tory has my gratitude for gracefully sharing his tips for conducting a professional interview and providing thoughtful answers to their questions. And for signing their release form agreeing to appear in the video.

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