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From Begley to the Classroom: A Recurring Theme

After listening to Ed Begley Jr., presenting my topic, and attending the 80’s Retro Café, a dominant theme is starting to emerge at FETC 2010. Like writing with pencil and paper, almost anyone can shoot a video and post it online. We can create and publish a blog in minutes with audio and video content. We spend many years in school learning how to write coherently.

Unfortunately the same is not true for creating videos. So much of the video we see online, educational or entertainment, isn’t necessarily coherent. We are bombarded with Flip cameras, YouTube, TeacherTube, etc. Our students are using these techno gadgets and freely posting their wares online. Mr. Begley pointed out very bluntly that in order to reach an audience, the video must provide entertainment along with a “message.” We are not educated as video-makers. As teachers and technologists, we need to take a step back from the technology and reconsider the content. Acting silly in front of the camera and posting it online is no longer cool. We must reconsider what we teach as “writing” in our schools. Let’s think about teaching “authoring” in our schools. The FCAT should require a video-authoring segment along with writing, reading and math. Letting the current trend of posting “garbage” video online will only serve to dumb down society.

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