Viral Videos, take 2

Over the summer, I described a project that I had created about a viral video and also described why it kind of sucked. This year, I’m trying to be way more hands off.

I showed a TED video of Kevin Allocca, who works for youtube, describing how videos get popular. Here’s the video: http://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_allocca_why_videos_go_viral.html

One thing I liked about the video was that it included graphs of the early views-per-day of a few videos. The videos in question are the Double Rainbow video, and Rebecca Black’s Friday.

Then I asked my students if they could used the information on those graphs to accurately predict how many views there are today. I left it really open-ended. Students can model the data with an equation, graph, or whatever makes sense to them. They can present their findings on a poster, in a presentation, or whatever they prefer. They can even choose which video they used. Only one student chose to investigate something that I didn’t give them the data for.

I’m changing the assignment a little bit for my precalculus students. I’m asking them all to use the OK Go video from a few years back. We’ll watch the video in class. I’m also going to make it into a competition — the closer your approximation is to the real answer, the better your grade will be. I’m not totally sure how I feel about making it a competition, as I feel it’s kind of a cheap grab for teenage attention. Could it have damaging effects? Since they’re working as groups, I know that at least they’re have their group members’ shoulders to cry upon if they lose.

Anyway, here’s the assignment (the OK Go one):

And here’s the grading rubric:

I’ll post about how it goes over February break.

And now I’m going to go play in the many feet of snow. I might try out some cat leashes (for the cats… not myself…)

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