TikTok was new to me, I had heard all about it but had not actually looked at it prior to this assignment. My first step was to ask my 17 year old about it and she laughed. In fact I think her words were, why do you want TikTok?!? I downloaded the app and began watching way too many hours of videos! I became familiar with the Renegade, I’m a Savage, all the challenges from fitness to dances to food, the Oh Na Na Na foot dance and the ever popular hand emoji challenge.
What is the purpose? What does it provide the user?
TikTok provides users with a platform to create, share, and view videos. The app allows you to shoot 15 second videos and then edit them with filters, music and special effects. With TikTok being one of the newer social media apps, it provides the user with familiarity from other popular apps. The filters which gained popularity in Snapchat and Instagram can be applied to your video to create special effects. When viewing a video you can show your appreciation by clicking a heart, similar to likes on Facebook and Instagram. Videos can be posted with a title or hashtags which help organize them in the way hashtags work on Twitter. There is also a comment feature similar to Facebook and Instagram. TikTok allows the user to view all videos that have been made public or you can customize the videos you see by following other users that are of interest. Comment and heart totals are displayed for each video. I believe this also provides the user with validation and the goal of going viral or having a top viewed video. There is also a duet feature which allows a user to react to a video by creating a split screen showing the original video and the person who is responding or reacting.
What are the educational uses?
It is very clear that TikTok fosters creativity. It has provided a platform for everyday people and celebrities to create and share pretty much whatever they want to a global audience. In terms of education, I was surprised to see the videos that provided factual information like doctors and nurses sharing some quick FYIs about different topics. However, with factual information shared I have seen just as much misinformation. As with anything, students need be critical viewers of the videos they are seeing. As for using TikTok in a classroom, I’m still undecided. I can see the possibilities of creating videos for assignments and projects however, I’m not convinced that there are not already other video apps that could produce similar results. Of course, those apps would not provide a student with the opportunity to share a video in the same way. I would have liked to do more investigating to see if I could find someone or see examples of how teachers have used TikTok with their students.
What do the terms of service and privacy guidelines mean?