Sep 7th, 2009 by Cathy Jo Nelson
I just read that President Obama’s speech will be released today for previewing. Finally someone in the high ranks of gov’t made a good decision (albeit a little too late) regarding a speech for students by our president. No doubt it’s a cautionary reaction to all the kneejerks from the public. Hey, at least someone is listening.
Was it thought through?
I have to wonder how this was thought through though to begin with. A speech for a target audience of students at 12:00PM on a school day? How many schools are NOT in the midst of lunch at 12:00PM? (Added at 11AM Tuesday 9/8/09 – Wow didn’t even factor in the different time zones of the US!)
Adhering to Board Policy / Staying Copyright Compliant
How many schools do not have solid board policies regarding the use of videos in school? In all my years as an educator (now working on 24) I have never worked in a public school that did not ask educators to preview the material before showing it in the classroom. Even during 9-11 the coverage was widely available but as a district we were asked to limit exposure to the coverage due to the nature of it. If we were watching any of the coverage during the school day, it was to be without students. So it was no surprise to me that we were asked to delay the Presidential Speech so that the integrity of the board policy would be maintained, and teachers would have a chance to preview the material first hand. The delay would also allow parents time to opt out for their children.
But I do applaud that the message did accompany lesson plans. This accompaniment of lesson plans did allow schools to be copyright compliant by utilizing the video in face to face instruction. I do not see the activities outlined as anything more than giving students a forum–an appropriate outlet to express themselves.
Media Frenzy – orchestrated?
Too bad so many people are allowing this media frenzy to sway their decision making around this topic. Just using a basic google search nets 34+ million hits, and many are the direct result of media making a mountain out of a molehill.
Whack a Mole
For all the districts who are blocking the stream Tuesday, I want to know if the tech department is going to be paid extra to play “whack a mole” as they try to prevent it in their districts, because it is going to be widely available from many media outlets, both in the form of network/cable tv and streaming online sites. And then we will have to listen to a day’s worth (maybe more like 2 day’s worth) of analysis from all the experts on presidential speeches. Geesh. (I’m sticking with NPR myself.)
Who will watch live? What does he say?
I’m also going to keenly watch the live blogging of the speech that some fifth graders are going to participate in from East Elementary in Littleton, Colorado (home district of Karl Fisch, coauthor of the video “Did You Know?/Shift Happens.”) I’m excited for those kids in that district who will not only get to watch live, but also respond live on the Internet. How nice to see that a district is allowing it, live, and jumping on it as a teachable moment.
So what is he going to say?
The top six words in the speech say it best. They are:
every – one – want – single – good – education
OMG how can so many attribute underlining meaning and subliminal messaging to those simple words. I for one am thankful that our nation’s leader is sharing such a simple message. And now the naysayers have an opportunity to preview it for themselves before exposing their children to it at <gasp> school. Get real people. What BETTER place for our students to hear it? This is what we all want for kids.
Anyone want to watch live? It’s here Tuesday, Spetember 8, 2009 at 12:00PM.
Image: “Obama Speech top 75 words” Anonymous. http://www.wordle.net/thumb/wrdl/1104752/Obama_Speech_top_75_words
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