The booktube: literary criticism 2.0

It is by associating literature and video that the booktube were born. What is a booktube and how can I use it for educational purposes?

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ATTENTION! The English translation is automated - Errors (sometimes hilarious!) can creep in! ;)

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The whole of my article is inspired by the training given by Melanie Jannard at the 2018 AQPF Congress.  

As you have probably noticed: the word " booktube Is a portmanteau formed from the English translation of the word "book" and "YouTube". What is a booktube and how can I use it for educational purposes?

The "what" book?

This kind of literary criticism fits perfectly in our era where video is consumed in mass and where people wanting to expose themselves on social networks have almost unlimited access to platforms allowing them to do so in various ways. It is therefore by associating literature and video that the booktubes. In this type of record, the booktubeur offers his interpretation and appreciation of one or more literary works.

As with any genre, the booktube has its own characteristics. One of the most important is that we see the speaker's personality shine through. Indeed, the artist includes some personal anecdotes or related reading experiences in order to get his message across. Depending on the content to be presented, the booktube can last between one and ten minutes. It is strongly suggested to make a plan in order to follow the common thread of the criticism. As Mélanie Jannard, author and booktubeuse, it is easy to get lost in your ideas when you leave without having prepared. Moreover, it offers an accessible tutorial in order to produce its own content.

And the pedagogy in all this?

With the increasing presence of digital technology in education, why not motivate our young people to produce content around literature? If you speak with your students, you will quickly discover that they are end users of YouTube and videos, each one more different than the next. As educators, we have the responsibility of guiding them towards good practices in connection with the Web. Getting them to consume content that deals with reading is an idea that is one of the best practices.  

In addition, it is interesting to work on the understanding of the works read. In French, it is necessary to evaluate several criteria in reading such as comprehension, interpretation, reaction and critical judgment. It is possible, from instructions for the production of a booktube, to direct the pupils towards the elaboration of their capsule around answers answering these constraints. You will find here a example of instructions given to first-secondary students as well asan example of booktube made from these guidelines.

Finally, the taste for reading is an important hobbyhorse in schools. Why not use a project like the booktube to motivate students to find a book they like, whether it's a novel, graphic novel, comic book, magazine series, or whatever? It is much easier to talk about a book that you liked than the other way around. Use the resources to help students find one to their liking: your documentation technician (a real gold mine!), Literary reviews on social media and finally, booktubes already existing.  

Moreover, speaking of booktubes already online, it may be interesting to share your students' productions in the form of QR codes in your school's library so that other users can consult the review and thus move on to reading the book presented. It's a great way to reinvest the work you've done.  

All in all, the booktube is a great avenue to explore in connection with technology. Students will be able to explore the different video editing applications and thus improve their skills with the use of TICS in addition to reinvesting their knowledge of French. Good booktubing!

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About the Author

Laurie Couture
Laurie Couture
A high school French teacher and contributor to various blogs, Laurie Couture is passionate about writing and for the innovative aspect of education: how can you change your ways of doing things to improve your method? She loves to discover, discuss and develop about convincing practices related to technologies. Using digital technology, she aspires to set up projects and documents responding to current trends and proposing new approaches.

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