School’s out Friday

This is Hector Projector’s ‘It’s art’. (Hectornado on YouTube) who has created this hand drawn stop motion animation to his original composition. He represents talent and initiative in my opinion. He’s a guy living in Sweden, who, with the help of myspace and YouTube, is managing to carve out a name for himself and his creative talents.

Great, isn’t it. This is what is possible for the students we teach. Our schools need to start recognising that we can assist our students to showcase their talents and use this media to create a positive digital footprint for themselves (and quite possibly a future career for themselves as well).  

It’s inspiring to see young people using social media to good effect.  Almost makes me excited about the prospect of returning to school soon. I did say almost. I have to admit that I am enjoying the downtime holidays afford!

Have a great weekend. Forecast is for sunny weather here in Melbourne and I intend to soak it up.

9 Replies to “School’s out Friday”

  1. Hi Jenny

    Yep. Its great. I wish we could get kids putting their stuff out there a lot more.

    Playing the devils advocate (only coz I have had to face it myself):

    1. Should kids get fiscal rewards for what they produce in school? If so, who manages it?

    2. How do we protect their identity while promoting their talent?

    That aside, though, I’d love to have kids producing real stuff for an appreciative audience/market.

    1. Good questions Russell. I do think we have a responsibility as educators to teach our students about digital citizenship. Part of this, from my perspective as a classroom teacher, is to not have them reveal too much about themselves that would make them easily traceable. I tell my students to use their first name only (or a pseudonym), and if their name is an easily identifiable one, then to use another name. However, what they do in their own time is something we can’t control. I think as more students become aware of the power of this medium to promote what it is they are good at, they will start doing what others like Hector Protector are doing and will post their efforts themselves. The fiscal rewards question is an interesting one. I don’t know how you’d manage it, but teaching students how to be financially responsible and manage money is part of our role. Giving them a real world marketing experience is surely beneficial.

  2. Jennylu

    Online identity:
    I tried to tackle this seriously on my own a couple of years ago with my Year 7 (middle school) students but there was no way that I could sustain it. In a middle/senior setting it has to be a whole school thing with all the departments getting n board.
    Actually, at that point, the majority of teachers were still seriously phobic about getting their kids online and just were not interested in a collaborative approach.
    Things are improving. As more school-friendly online services become available and become part of what schools offer, teachers are slowly getting over their phobias.

    Fiscal responsibility:
    I think that a paradigm shift will have to be involved here. School (Big S) with have to get rid of its child care culture (which, seriously, it still has ) to a more dynamic community culture before we can begin to tackle this one (IMHO).

    1. @Russell There is no doubt having our students start to collaborate online is a sticking point for many teachers who have yet to appreciate the benefits of what connective experiences can have in cultivating a different view of learning. That’s one of the reasons I think it’s important that our teachers start to make this leap first. They need to have an understanding of how learning communities work. That’s one of the reasons I actively sought involvement in Powerful Learning Practice. I knew that I wasn’t going to shift the thinking on my own. I needed others around me who had some understanding of the things I was speaking of in order to effect change.

  3. @Jennylu I had a look at PLP. Is that what we were trying to do with OZ/NZ educators?

    I am in the process of getting my own PLN organised and in shape for the coming school year but it is nothing like PLP. Its adhoc, based on those who happened to follow me back on twitter.

    If there was something like PLP for us in Australasia I would be interested in having a closer look.
    One of the negative things that happened for me early on was that I subscribed to everything and thats just about as useful as subscribing to nothing.

    The biggest hurdle for me personally in the video/real time interaction.
    1. I’m shy and need help staying “out there”
    2. Finding a common time that actually works.

    I can sense that I am sounding negative. But if its still so difficult for a technophile like me, then my technophobic colleagues aren’t going to touch it.

    And that exactly the problem whenever I have introduced colleagues to working online. They are phobic and they see it as way too much work for too little result… all on top of their impossibly full teaching lives.

    I’m with you in wanting it to be different but the realities in my world are still pretty harshly negative.

    1. @Russell PLP is the brainchild of Sheryl Nussbaum Beach and Will Richardson. It involves the formation of teams of teachers from various schools who come together to form a virtual learning community. They benefit from the dedicated ning environment we operate in that is supported by a community leader and various ‘experts’ along with the support of Sheryl and Will. Have a look at this post to get some idea of the international cohort that has formed with Australian Schools. There may be the possibility of further cohorts forming. Let me know if you would like me to keep you posted. I truly believe this is a model schools should be looking toward if they want to see change within their school. I can understand your frustration. You can’t do it alone; support is required and this is a means of enlisting people new to this kind of thinking.

  4. Happy New Year Jenny. I have tagged you to join me in special meme among our Professional Learning Network.

    “To maintain engagement with creative forms of self-expression throughout adult life”, I hope you will join me by: A) writing a “7 Things You Don’t Need to Know About Me” post and B) tagging 7 other people in your PLN by listing them at the bottom of your post. See 7 Things You Don’t need To Know about Me

  5. Wow!

    I read your next post and am humbled that you took the time to reply. You have obviously had your hands very full with faciltitating the PLP meeting.

    So I am going to look further into it.

    Thanks again.

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