Ustream and Operator 11: Hype or Just Hyper?

Some accuse me of “hype” over ustream and operator11.

Dan Meyer says:

Okay, just so I'm clear, this is the next educational paradigm? Really? ¶ Rhetorical question: Wld yo— —u re—ad b—log writ — te —— en liike thi—s? ¶ Ustream offers a choppy, low-res medium, one in which I'll doubtlessly dabble soon, but one which pushes unedited, free-associative thought onto the careless vodcaster. I'm seeing streamcasts circling for thirteen minutes the same point one could make in a coupla body paragraphs. ¶ At least it's new, though. New's important.

Here was my response, over there:

The thing is — we don’t know if it will work in the classroom until we’ve tried it out and thoroughly tested it. Unlike predecessors of these technologies these are social technologies and we need to TRY THEM OUT.

I will not make a lesson plan with a technology until I #1 know it is safe and #2 know it works at least somewhat stably. That is malpractice.

So, it may seem like a lot of hype but I think it is more saying — OK, guys let’s test this out.

This is where we’re heading — we’re heading to live streaming in the classroom and between classrooms for FREE. It may not be ustream it is DEFINITELY NOT Operator 11 — NOT NOT NOT. I saw enough tonight, although I like the ability, I DO NOT LIKE THE SETUP. Stay awy from it for now, even for staff development.

How would I know that without twitting and saying — guys come over here and look?

I wouldn’t call it hype but rather — hyper. Hyper because we all love trying new things and we’re trying to figure it out to see if it WILLWork.

When it works — I’ll create lesson plans, think it through and share it.

But somebody has to try these things out for the rest of us. I have played with it these last two days b/c I’m in Maine and not at home — others are at conferences as well. And yes, there will be another tool next month and another the next month.

And you have the initial, what many are calling the “hype” stage but I prefer to call the “hyper” stage where we all are learning about it and playing and then the work happens.

Yes, there are people in SL doing some great things. They’re not talking a lot about it. There are some great things coming with Open Sim.

Just know that this is what happens. Change happens and it happens quickly. Evolution of tools is viral and we talk about it. And if you’re not comfortable being a beta tester, don’t do it.

However, if you look at the video you linked to — I was on hotel wifi — If you look at another video I was on with a better network — it was better.

So, it is not there yet — but let me ask you this — when I had a nanotechnologist in last year — whynot have him talk to 200 school kids rather than just 30 live in this way? Doesn’t this give us some great potential as it evolves and improves?

Don’t rush to judgement — I haven’t either. The jury is still out on ustream. I’m not ready to take it to students — although for staff development I think it is fine. For Operator 21 — I think it is out of the question.

However, let me give you a caveat. Your kids are using it. If they’re using it, you’d better be talking about it — what is proper, what is not.

It is here whether you like it or not. Live learn evolve. Do what is pedagogically sound and excellent in the classroom.

Don’t run in “loosey goosey” get your act together before going to the classroom.

So, you can call it hype, I just call it hyper. And yes, I’m hyper about live streaming — but not ready to “hype” it in your classroom until I’m ready to try it in mine.

Guys, if you're going to be part of the viral web, you're going to see fads come and go. But some fads will become permanent parts of things and some will not. We talk about what we're learning, it is just part of human nature. Just think about teenage boys and what they talk about… they talk about what they're learning. New creates excitement. It is part of life.

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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

Stephanie Sandifer October 12, 2007 - 1:28 pm

Great response Vicki!

Comments are closed.

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere