Are You Afraid of Fred?

Preteens love him, adults who happen to be within 100 yards of the squeals may have a strong opinion, but it is certainly not love.  If you've never met him (and can actually see youtube while viewing my blog, meet Fred)

Casting calls go out for a movie based on Youtube's pop phenom, Fred.

Don't dismiss the reach of someone like Fred – the above video posted on September 2, 2009 has over 2 million views, over 30,000 ratings, and 25,000+ comments. (This video is, by the way, rated TV-Y as some producers are now beginning to use US TV ratings for their videos.)

As annoying as he is to me, it speaks volumes of the world that our students live in – a world that connects them in viral ways using video, text, comments that we are still only at the cusp of understanding and utilizing.  Surely there are positive ways that we can harness the power of social media in ways that generate such views, comments, and ratings — or must school always be relegated to being viewed like Fred's piece on Detention:

Are we afraid of Fred ? We can certainly learn something from him even if we cannot listen to him!

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