2 Million Online Vids for Mickey Mouse

Disney announces that they have sold 2 million online videos through iTunes, 23.7 million shows, and 92 million ad-supported show episodes. The article at ZDNET discusses how Disney has been revamping their online activities to include more social networking capabilities and a move towards more video on demand services delivered through the Internet.

Are classrooms moving online?

We continue to move towards Internet delivery of all electronic media, but I have to ask myself how well we are moving in that direction in our classrooms.

What does it take to work at Google?
Last night in the WOW2 webcast with Christin Frodella, director of Google Educators network, we talked about what it takes to work at a place like Google. She stated that the “ability to ask questions” and the “ability to be self motivated without someone looking over your shoulder” and “curiosity” and “passion for your profession” as vital for working at Google.

She didn't state knowledge, but of course it was implied that you were very good at what you do.
I think that proficiency is assumed, students must have a certain level of proficiency. But past that, they need to be thinkers, problem solvers, and communicators in a burgeoning techno-personal world.

Time to move online
The fact is that as our world moves online, our classrooms must move online too. Meanwhile, when I think back on the chat last night in WOW2, it seems that many IT departments are moving their school offline as fast as their fingers can type in a filter.

What is being blocked now? Gmail, all chat services, Skype, youtube, twitter, were just a few of the things mentioned last night.

The Bandwidth Dilemma

Bandwidth is certainly an issue. However, we've got to get creative. For example, couldn't a teacher enter the websites that they will be going to the next day and let the server download those graphics or items overnight for the next day? Could e-mails download in the night instead of on demand (since we all demand things at the same time.)

Can we preorder videos, etc. and let some sort of iTunes like synchronization happen in the night? Or could we just invest in faster connections much like we invest in buildings. No one says, “Are we going to put a bathroom in that building?” neither should we scrimp on Internet connectivity. It is vital.

Mickey Mouse's rush into online delivery makes all of the discussions about filtering and blocking and restrictions look well… very Mickey Mouse.

Remember, I always advocate some form of filtering, however, there is a big difference between wise filtering and carte blanche filtering of everything. If you filter it all, why even connect to the Internet, just go back to CD's!

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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1 comment

Lelia Katherine Thomas May 9, 2007 - 3:12 pm

I think it should be noted that the Internet should COMPLEMENT, not REPLACE face-to-face education. I finished my last year and a half of high school through online education/independent study. It was difficult, not nearly personal enough, lonely in some ways, etc. This was, in part, due to the system, but there’s so much more you get out of in-person tutoring that I cannot stress it enough, and this is being said by someone who loves social networking online.

Also, the economy of the virtual media world should not be a premise of the argument for online classrooms; it’s completely unrelated information. One is commercialism; another is technically not supposed to be big-business (even though we all know it is).

As for students being blocked…well, any savvy kids (and most are) will know to use proxy sites to get around that. There are other solutions for different filters, but most of the time a simple proxy site will do the trick. And institutions can’t keep up with the new gadgets that are out there in order to blacklist them. I’m pretty sure that most of them, despite blocking Gmail and the like, haven’t blocked Meebo or eBuddy or any of the other obscure web messengers. If they have, I’m impressed. The only full-proof filtering system is no Internet at all, and that’s even dumber than blocking, which doesn’t work. This will be realized in the next 10 years, though, I think, because you will have more technologically-savvy people coming into power in all parts of society. It just takes time, I believe.

When it comes to bandwidth, we’ll see limits increase over time and prices decrease–either due to competition or regulation. However, there is such a real thing as information overload. I think we should remember that what we must present students with is enriching, valuable materials to enhance their learning experience. That does not mean downloading an entire gallery’s worth of high-resolution Egyptian tomb pictures, no matter how cool that might be. It means showing one or two of them, then moving on, unless there is a question or request for more. Covering a subject well does not necessarily mean you’ll use a lot of bandwidth on it, if any at all.

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