Our Boom De Yada

I’m sure many of you have seen Discovery’s advertising campaign, “The World is Just … Awesome,” in which lots of people sing a modified version of I Love the Mountains, called Boom De Yada. Discovery’s version is really inspiring, so much so that if you go to YouTube you’ll find hundreds of versions of it from people all over the world.

I spent a little time over the weekend watching a bunch of them and once you start exploring it is tough to stop. So many of them are really inspiring, but the one that really made me smile is an original version from a fourth grade class.

Now, you can say this is just people imitating other people but if you ask me there is something deeper going on here. I am of the mind that the web is a platform for starting conversations — and I’m not just talking about online conversations. If you follow what probably happened in the example above you can begin to see how powerful this is … perhaps their teacher saw the commercial and got the idea that his class could make their own. This simple thought (enabled by technology) motivated that group of kids to work together to create something original, new, and challenging. They had to work together to make it happen … and then by sharing it with the World gave a whole other set of people the inspiration they need to try something new together.

So that’s exactly what happened after I showed the two videos above to Madeline and all her cousins Saturday night while we were in Bloomsburg … they instantly wanted to make their own. Over the course of an hour or so, they each wrote pieces to the song and decided who was going to do what. It was so cool to see all of them working together to make something. In the middle of it they wanted to find a way to include two of their cousins who live in Florida so they wrote them in as well. It was amazing watching them come up with the words and perform it. I think it made the whole house a really happy place! I know I had a blast getting to spend time with them while they laughed, sang, and edited with me.

18 thoughts on “Our Boom De Yada

  1. Excellent stuff once again. I think the world would benefit from your insights on childhood education; higher-ed stuff doesn’t compare.

    Interesting to me is that everyone was inspired, and didn’t need to mash-up other’s video. Feels like a big step.

  2. Just shared this with my family and our daughter said “that’s so hard core!”

    I agree: there is something much deeper going on here. Taken together, these conversations are complex symbols of human interaction and inspiration.

    Great stuff. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and your family.

  3. Coming from a different angle…

    Discovery channel, animal planet, national geographic and the history channel do education right imo. They have hooks to get people involved (which I would include this type of stuff as one of those hooks), get people excited and interested, and engage people at so many levels. Yes, they also do a lot of web games to supplement the shows and keep people interested and learning long after the specific show/series airs. They do amazing work, nearly all of it having some ties to education.

    We had a VP from national geographic on campus last week that is the director of their educational initiatives. I could not make the talk, but looking forward to seeing the video once it is released. I had a chance to meet him the night before the talk, and prof daddy had a great quote about why the speaker left a tenure-track position at Northwestern to go to national geographic:
    “He actually cares about education and wants to make an impact.”

    I find that quote to be humorous, true and disheartening all at the same time.

  4. I admit I had not seen the original Discovery video, which is absolutely marvelous, but like you, I am fascinated by the creation culture expressed in the responses. It’s not about covering up amateur production values, which is what make them all so real and expressive.

    Mr Vaschek’s class one is a gem on many levels; while derivative of an original, it is original itself; all the kids expressed themselves, a dn what a message- school/learning is awesome. As is yours- I just cracked up about the line about Uncle Eric moving to Florida where “old people are on the penninula”.

    On one level, its refreshing to have media in video form by optimistic as opposed to the gloom and doom of networked television, we need more uplift instead more agreeing that the sky is falling.

    But even more, there is something “there” about this asynchronous conversation via video, as so well laid on by Michael Wesch. YouTube too has morphed a bit from just “band/cat/skiiing/I’m doing something stupid on a camera” videos to a platform of human expression (??). What really struck home was when one of your colleagues visited me recently, and we watched a video his son did– here were people who wdere spending their free time NOT just consuming media (as I did as a teen), but spending free time producing original creative media. It is a shift from passive to active actions in our personal time, and to me, that cannot help but factor into other facets of our lives.

    The web is awesome, too.

  5. Thanks everyone! We had a really good time doing it. The thing that was so surprising was the ease with which the kids were able to write, perform, and assist with editing. When we said we were going to post it to youtube they were so psyched! As Alan states, the web is awesome too! I really got to be a bit of a (geeky) hero the other night with them and the time spent was something I’ll always remember.

    I wonder if we could all assemble our own version and collaboratively share it? That might be a whole lot of fun!

  6. I love learning
    I love the Blogosphere
    I love to twitter
    I want to pioneer

    I love Community
    enhanced by technology


    I love to teach and learn
    I love to facebook-chat
    I love the wiki
    I love replies that start with at

    I love community
    forget the technology


  7. @ Brad You rock … that was perfect! Anyone else have some versus to add? We could all record pieces and submit them … I’ll gladly edit them together!

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  11. You are right. This writing / team building exercise definitely got the conversation rolling in the classroom. Discovery is just awesome. Not only do they inspire learning through their programs and websites, but also through their commercials. It looks like “Boom De Yada: Family Style” was a fun way to spend some quality family time as well!

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