Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Student's Rant Questions Instructional Practice and Goes Viral

By now, you have heard about Jeff Bliss video that has gone viral. If not, here's the video.

 I was wondering about posting the video on this blog that focuses on computers in the classroom but on second thought, it's relevant. The video speaks to the fact any student can pull out a cell phone and videotape what happens in the classroom or school building. The fact that the video has had well over one million views and has been discussed in all sorts of social media forums points to how classrooms quickly become public spaces. As one educator posted recently on Twitter:

Since the video went viral, it has had remixes, another phenomenon of living in a digital age, where anything online can be remixed to change the message. Here's one remix.

 Now that you've seen both videos, what's your take on teaching in an age where what we do in the classroom can instantly become public knowledge?

Much of the discussion about the original video has focused on the teacher's teaching style and Bliss's reaction to it. What is your impression of the classroom scenario that we see in the original video?

To give you a sense of the discussions online about the original video, this past week, one of the one-hour chats on Twitter addressed the Bliss video. A moderator for the chat afterwards archived the tweets using a tool called Storify. Here's a link to the Storify, which starts with people introducing themselves, but if you scroll down and use the Click to See More options, you can follow the chat as it unfolded. Storify: #IAedchat--Jeff Bliss Video: What Have We Learned

And for more on the Bliss video see this article and the comments from Edutopia: "The Digital Live of Teens: Revolutionary "Bliss"?


Paul Fitzpatrick said...

There are two major issues here. The first for all teachers is the realization that given the proliferation of technology possessed by our students we must assume that we are always "on" and whatever we are saying or doing at the moment is being recorded for posterity. The other, more disturbing issue, arises from the fact that this teacher was not actively involved in the instructional process. While the student's reaction was way over the top, he did have a point.

Andrea Rosenfield said...

Was I the only one holding my breath the entire time? This student certainly has a point...a good portion of instruction has been reduced to worksheets. Anyone else notice that the young man's "rant" fell somewhere between poetry/rap?

We're teachers of the 21st century so we must (1) recognize that NOTHING is private anymore, and (2) figure out how to harness the power of this digital age to engage our students in transformative learning. There are plenty of free apps/ platforms to choose from. I guess it's all about determining effective implementation given teachers' preferences, students' backgrounds, and curricular mandates.

Rachel Bisacky said...

While it is a little scary that anything we do can now be broadcast on the internet almost immediately, it also reminds us that we are accountable for our actions in the classroom. Everyone makes mistakes, but we should not be doing anything in our classroom that we wouldn't be proud (or at least alright with) sharing with others.
This student has a point- he, as well as every other student, deserves a chance to be taught by a teacher who gets them excited about learning. If we give our students that and are conscious of our words and actions, we don't need to be worried about the possibility of being posted online. In fact, we may be able to embrace it.

Samantha said...

I agree with the comments above. The student had a valid point in his argument. A teacher needs to be engaged in their classroom and in their teaching if they expect their students to be engaged.

Technology in the classroom is a double edged sword. It helps us teach students in a more creative way and allows students who learn in multiple ways to express their learning in a creative fashion as well.

Yet, technology also allows the classroom to become a very large space where nothing is private and everything that is said and done is public display. I believe effective teachers use technology as a supplemental tool and show students how their learning can be enhanced through its application.

Leigh Lessard said...

Wow, I must be under a rock (or just crazy busy!) because this was the first time I saw this! In my first career, I had a wonderful mentor who gave me one piece of advice that I continue to pass on. He told me to live my life and make my decisions as if they were going to be published on the front page of a paper. If I would be embarrassed about that thought, then I was probably not making the right choice! His advice still guides some of my toughest decisions, although the publishing medium has expanded to so many options. So, although the thought of finding pictures and videos online does bother me, at least I know I have nothing to be embarrassed of! My life and teaching is pretty much an open book anyway!

As far as the teacher on this video goes, I do have to give her some credit for staying so calm given the situation. I don't know the whole background of the situation, but obviously this kid has experienced teaching that was more effective with him. I especially liked his comment about how he suggested that if she wants to teach him something, she should try touching his heart (or something like that!)

Allan Ray Tanchiatco said...

When I first saw this, I was like, "Wow, the guts of this kid!" I don't know how I would have reacted if I were the teacher there. Not that I would want to cause any of my students to do that to me though. I'm just saying.

Stephanie Scott said...

The student inside of the video does pose a valid point about the need for teacher to practice differentiation. However on the other hand it is nerve racking to know that as a future teacher students can record and videotape me without knowing. It makes me think that there has to be a rule insides of schools and inside of the classroom that deals with the use of technology.

Victoria Guerrera said...

I think everyone can agree that this student makes a valid point, but what bothers me is the way the student expresses his opinion. I would have more respect for his comments if he acted a mature manner.

I do agree though that teachers need to make sure they are dfferentiating their material in order to engage the kids!

Rachel Cocola said...

I agree with all of my classmates comments so far. We are definitely living in a world where anything we do can be videotaped/recorded and be used for good or bad. It is not in any way disrespectful (and the student did do something to get kicked out of the classroom), but he has a point. You can never expect to reach a child by seating them in rows and handing out packets. I think this is one of the benefits of being a new educator. We know this and we have been taught so many strategies to avoid this in the classroom.

As Rachel and Leigh and others I'm sure have said, If we conduct ourselves in the classroom in a way that we are proud of, there is nothing for us to worry about.

Tiffany Webley said...

Even though this is a scary reality of what could potentially happen with today's technology, the young man has a valid argument. Educators have to listen to the young man's rant and look within themselves. We have to work hard to engage students so that they want to learn. Their education must be taken seriously and if we cannot fulfill that obligation we cannot be afraid of students speaking out. As educators we must be confident that we are doing as expected in the classroom because anyone is able to view our classroom at any time.