About 10 days ago the musical group OK Go premiered their newest video, White Knuckles.
That day Twitter was alive with praise for the video. If you haven’t seen it, the video is a lively dance/music routine with OK Go and a group of dogs. It’s definitely worth watching.
When I watched White Knuckles, and read a bit about it, I was reminded of other OK Go videos that I’d seen, including videos detailing the process they used in creating another very entertaining (and interesting) video, This Too Shall Pass.
What does this have to do with going back to school, learning, and librarianship? The process that OK Go uses to develop and produce projects is definitely something that librarians, teachers, and teens can learn from. OK Go’s videos demonstrate creativity, determination, and commitment to ideas, even if they are ideas that seem a little crazy, so that what doesn’t seem like it can work is proven to be possible. For example the This Too Shall Pass video has an odd but key character, a gigantic Rube Goldberg machine. Most of the dogs in White Knuckles are trained rescue dogs. How is it possible that a giant Rube Goldberg machine and these dogs could work so successfully in these videos? OK Go makes it work.
In our schools and libraries we want to give the teens with whom we work the skills required to think creatively, make decisions, and problem solve. We want to do this through the research and information literacy skills we teach and help them to understand. We want to do this with the programs we ask them to help us create and implement. We want to do this with the leisure and personal information materials we make available. And, we want to help them figure out how to determine when an idea is a good one and when an idea is maybe just a little bit too crazy. We want them to go out and be successful, as OK Go is, using skills that we as educators and librarians help them to develop and learn.