Saturday, October 4, 2008

Inconvenient Youth

Find more videos like this on Inconvenient Youth

Blue Man Group has waded into the global warming arena with this video posted on a Ning site called Inconvenient Youth a site developed by teens about global warming. This video lead me to think of one of geographies or sciences that examine global warming. What a great hook for beginning a unit or as a model for students to create their own video about the effects of global warming. Or classes could develop their own Ning focused on local issues associated with global warming.

Vicki Davis who writes Cool Cat Teacher blog also reflects that:

This video from the blue man group on the environment has been widely viewed around the world. Such videos spark social change -- these are not TV commercials but viral videos that spread from blog to blog and email to email. How information travels has fundamentally changed.

I find her comment about viral videos thought provoking. The opportunity that individuals have to cause change - for good or for evil - connects me to what I heard about a year ago when I was able to attend a session given by David Warlick at an OLA Superconference in Toronto. He spoke about the 3 Rs - reading writing and 'rithmatic and what they looked like in the new information landscapes of the 21st century. But he added a fourth component - the ethical use of information. As teachers we must teach our students the responsibilities connected with this ability to spread viral videos or viral podcasts or viral anything over the Internet.

I think that this responsibility ties in nicely with Character Education
. This was taken off our school board's web site in regards to character education:

Schools play an active role in organizing, developing and implementing programs that serve to foster and develop character. We believe that all members of our school community should strive to be: Caring, Responsible, Fair, Self-Disciplined, Respectful, Diligent and Trustworthy. These traits were determined in consultation with our staff, parents, students and community partners. Our interest in developing character is derived from the fact that these attributes affirm our human dignity, promote the development and welfare of the individual person, serve the common good and define our rights and responsibilities in Canadian society.

I'm not sure how this post started with a video about global warming to a connection to character education and ethical use of the Internet. But it did and I am constantly awed by the importance of our jobs as teachers and by the scope of what we do with kids on a daily basis.

1 comment:

paul c said...

There has been this negative connotation about youth and the Internet. Too much time is spent with online video games, MSN, questionable websites.

It's encouraging to see that increasingly there are opportunities for youth to be engaged in socially and ethically responsible ways on the Internet.

As teachers we should be there helping students make those ethical decisions and finding integral ways to use the Internet.

Thoughtful post.