During October a small group of YALSA bloggers are posting ideas and information about positive uses of social networking tools in schools and libraries. Here’s positive use #16.

Karaoke is probably one of the most popular games that teens play in libraries. Male, female, cool, and not cool bond over the possibilities karaoke provides. Well, imagine taking the game one step further by having teens record songs online and add photos and slideshows. That’s all possible with SingShot

Here’s what it takes. (Make sure you have a computer microphone and speakers.) Create a library account at SingShot. Have teens browse through the site, check out how it works, find out what music is available, select songs to record, etc. Teens might work in groups to work on songs of a particular genre. Once recordings are made the teens can select images on the site or on their own computers to add to the recording. This is a great opportunity to talk with the teens about the mood that the song elicits and what images would help to set that mood.

It’s also a great opportunity to talk about copyright issues as they relate to digital materials. You could steer teens to sites that provide access to Creative Commons licensed images to use in their SingShot recordings. One site you might use for these is Wikipedia Commons.

There is lots of collaboration, group discussion, and evaluation that goes into creating a SingShot recording. While teens will have a good time creating their own online karaoke recordings, that creation provides great opportunities for critical thinking and planning.

Once teens upload their recordings and images you can host contests on the library web site or blog to vote for the favorite SingShot recordings made by local teens. You can link to the recordings on your web site, blog, or MySpace. The opportunities for integrating this web site into library programs and services are pretty broad. But, those broad opportunities would be lost in a world in which DOPA had passed. Teens wouldn’t be able to participate in the community of SingShot. That would mean there would be one less opportunity to plan, collaborate, think, discuss, evaluate, and enjoy.

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President, the YALSA CE Consultant, and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.

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