You’ve Been You Tubed…

I’m a teacher that is enamored with 21st Century teaching tools. I see great potential in engaging kids as creators of online content and have worked to incorporate podcasting, blogging and wiki work into my classroom.

Recently, I bought two MP3 players with voice recorders that my students can sign out to interview parents or to reflect on current events. I was planning to push this work one step further by having students use their cell phone cameras to design enhanced podcasts that included images, audio and narration on topics of personal interest. 

I paused today, however, after reading about the kinds of extracurricular videos that are appearing online after being recorded in classrooms. Teachers losing their steam and students being bullied have become targets despite district bans of cell phones and social networking sites like My Space and You Tube.  As it turns out, undercover recordings of classroom teachers—like this one, which has been viewed over 200,000 times despite disturbing language—are a dime a dozen on You Tube, filling pages and pages of search results.

What impact do you think videos like these will have on teaching and learning? Will they erode trust between teachers and students—or between classmates?  Will they result in the continued banning of digital tools that have great potential to reinvent America’s classrooms?