I’ve been reading a lot of Christian Long’s blog (Think:Lab). I feel like I know him as a personal friend even though I can honestly say I’ve only met him in passing (NECC 07) and had virtual conversations with him on my blog here and in skypechats among many other participants. He asks some really hard questions and really makes me think. He is heading back to the classroom this year after working in business, and he is being treated like a first year teacher. Maybe he really is–I don’t know. That just shows that I really only have superficial knowledge of him. But he is still a favortie blog to read! Best of luck as you enter this world where kids are your audience, Christian, and where I truly believe you will make the world their audience!
In the last year (September 2006) Christian and his middle school principal wife had a son. Beckett, his son, was placed in a daycare that offers a lot of perks to parents, including an opportunity for parents to log in and see what is happening in their baby’s room at the daycare center. Reading Christian’s reaction to seeing his son explore his world, make friends, and yes, even take his first tentative steps as a toddler in that daycare center has almost brought tears to my eyes. Christian has shared some of these video clips from that daycare webcam on his blog. And he is asking some really hard questions, like are those teacher’s of Beckett’s future prepared for his desire to see what is happening to his son in their classrooms. Which brings me to the purpose of my post today.
Incredibly, one of the newest schools that opens its doors and welcomes students for the very first time in Rock Hill is equipped with cameras in all the classrooms!!! India Hook Elementary School will be a state of the art school technology-wise. And according to an article in the local paper today (The Herald), parents (among other groups that could include administrators, peer teachers, interns, and more) are going to be able to visit and go to a “viewing” room to see what is happening in the classroom. Yes, it’s true. There was a disclaimer, however, in the article. Teachers will be told when their class is being observed.
So now I have questions: Would this affect the way you teach? If this school has this capability, who is to say they will NOT “tune-in” without the teacher’s knowledge? Will teachers have to sign something saying they agree? Will there be a clause that gives the teacher the right to say the video cameras have to be “off” unless the teacher is aware? Why shouldn’t anyone, anytime come and watch(since we all pay taxes)? Why isn’t the feed being made available during the day via the Internet for those with a “vested” interest, like parents who work? I know these are hard questions, and no, I don’t have the answers. But it is a sign of what is to come. It will be interesting to see if parents in particular come to see their child in class, or better, DEMAND the availability of the feed. I’m POSITIVE Christian Long would make this request.
“Security Camera.” Clean Wal Mart’s Photo Stream. 7 February 2007. 15 August 2007 <http://www.flickr.com/photos/cleanwalmart/381468078/>.
“Securitycam_29.” M3Li55@’s photostream. 13 January 2005. 15 August 2007 <http://www.flickr.com/photos/melissa/3330361/>