<span class='p-name'>I’m Teaching Myself TikTok</span>

I’m Teaching Myself TikTok

Over the remainder of the Fall semester, I will complete another networked learning project.

In a networked learning project, I will use the Internet, the connected learning community, and my own personal learning networks to teach myself something new. I will collect, curate, and synthesize this information into a final “presentation” of what I have learned. This presentation will be uploaded to YouTube and shared on this blog. I’ll reflect on the implications that I draw for classroom practice.

This is an assignment that I include in my technology classes. Each semester I complete my own project along with them.

In this first post, I’ll discuss what I have decided to learn, and about the sources I have already discovered that will help me learn this new skill. I’ll try to be sure that my learning goals are both concrete and realistic.

TikTok!?!?!

In my latest networked learning project, I’m going to teach myself how to use TikTok. Yes…TikTok. 🙂

There are several reasons why I want to learn how to use TikTok, and a lot of concerns I have as I get started.

To be honest, I’ve played with, and enjoyed short format digital creation in the past. I played with Vine for some time before it was shut down. Here are some of the remaining clips I left behind.

As Vine was shut down, several colleagues and many students indicated that TikTok was quickly becoming a valuable (and perhaps better) medium. I tried Snapchat but just didn’t get into it. It seems like it is more for messaging than content creation and sharing…at least for me.

I also had a number of serious concerns about TikTok, and possible privacy or security concerns. I discussed much of this in the issues of my weekly newsletter. Some of these issues focus on the fact that the app originates from China and possible bans last year in the U.S.

I still have concerns about TikTok, but I also have concerns about Facebook, and other digital tools and platforms I use.

I should also indicate that when I indicated that I would starting using and creating on TikTok, my partner’s immediate response was “the hell you are.” 🙂

TikTok-style videos

As I started to research TikTok, it was clear to me that my interest was not just in TikTok specifically, but more in short form (primarily) digital content that can be shared with a network. Some of this may take the form of Instagram-style stories. As I write this post, YouTube Shorts has also launched as a rival to TikTok.

What I’m looking for is a short-form video that lasts a minute or two. It seems like most of this video content is a square or vertical formatted video, as opposed to the typical horizontal widescreen-style format.

I want to make and share content that is accessible and approachable. Approachable in this sense means content that is easy to engage, understand, and know. Accessible in this sense means that you can actually read it. Approachable means that your audience can use it. Accessible means that your audience can get it.

I realize that not everyone will read this blog post, or peer-reviewed research papers, attend a workshop, or watch a long-form video. But, I believe that people will consume short-form video that succinctly hits a point or two.

My goal is to create four TikTok-style videos before the end of the semester and share these on TikTok. I believe that I can also share these via Instagram and YouTube Shorts. I’m not sure if I’ll share “day in the life” style videos, or just focus on evergreen explainer-type videos.

For now, I’ll focus on short videos that explain web and digital literacy basics, as well as guidance on screentime and finding balance in these spaces. Some of this content would supplement my other streams. I’m already wondering if some of this would replace my content.

For now…I’m just exploring and learning.


Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

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