Should students be allowed to tape and post videos of their teachers?

Should students be allowed to tape and post videos of their teachers?

Summary:  An article I came across in Education Week points to a disturbing trend- kids who take camera-enabled cellphones to class, sneakingly record some "footage" of their teachers, edit this "content," and then post it on YouTube, MySpace or similar sites.Some ironies here.

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mongzilla.jpg 

An article I came across in Education Week points to a disturbing trend- kids who take camera-enabled cellphones to class, sneakingly record some "footage" of their teachers, edit this "content," and then post it on YouTube, MySpace or similar sites.

Some ironies here. In some cases, the very editing skills the students use to post these videos were taught to them by the very teachers depicted in these clips. I've posted a screencap from an example, linked below.

In just one example, Education Week's Vaishali Honawar notes that:

..." in the Kent school district in Washington state, teacher Joyce Mong found herself the subject of a video titled "Mongzilla,"  shot by students in her classroom over several days, which made fun of her appearance. Teachers say that knowing they may be photographed at any time and then see their likeness broadcast on the Web, is a new source of stress in their jobs."

In a stance that should surprise no one, The American Federation of Teachers ain't too happy about this. Honowar quotes AFT general counsel David Strom (not the tech writer and pundit) as saying that these actions are "disturbing to the educational process," because the fear of being taped could change how teachers interact with students.

I'm of two minds about this. In a world long ago and far away, I  have taught and been made fun of, and the X-chromosomal unit is a teacher of technology in a middle school. But then, I have this reflexive, hard-wired belief against censorship.

Let's start a discussion here, using these two questions as a launching pad:

How far should schools limit cellphone camera use in classrooms?

If students create clips of their teachers and post them on public websites, should that lead to disciplinary action?

Topics: Censorship, IT Employment

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10 comments
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  • public and private

    First: What do you consider a teacher? A public figure, or a private citizen.

    Second: For whatever reason, should a minor be allowed a cellular device or other portable electronics in school?

    I believe that a teacher is a public figure (usually employed by the state government), therefore they are open to public ridicule just like the President; BUT, a minor should not be allowed to have personal electronics on school campus.

    So punish the student for having electronics and recording the teacher, but you cannot punish a student for posting a verbal blog which pokes fun at the teach. (Unless it is all lies)
    kiglas
  • No, they shouldn't

    unless they are willing to have their parents sued for slander and libel.

    Also what are these kids doing filming when they are supposed to be learning? All schools should have a no cell phone policy and a neutralizing element to disable them while on campus.

    There is ABSOLUTELY no reason for a kid to have a cell phone on campus or in class. Were I a teacher, I would be confiscating the phones. THAT is well withing the teachers right since it is a disruption to the learning environment. ]:)
    Linux User 147560
    • video would still work

      a device that disrupts cell phone service would not prevent the camera from working.

      I have two kids in public high school, and the school they go to does have a no cell phone policy in the building. But I would say a very large percentage of students do have phones at school.

      I also have two kids in a private elementary school, and my wife teaches in that school. I would say very few students seem to have phones there, and if the school has a no phone policy, I don't remember hearing about it.

      I know my wife gets observed now and then, and the school encourages paraents to join in the educational process by volunteering to help in the classroom. And I have heard my wife say many times she wished parents could see their kids in action, or take a turn trying to teach even one lesson.

      My initial reaction was that as long as the video was honest that it would be ok. Teaches spend a lot of time with our kids and should be accountable. Our kids spend a lot of time with them and we should be accountable too.

      If the video is being edited to make the teacher look as bad as possible, takes something completely out of context, or put together to make it sound like they said something they didn't then I would have a problem with that.

      The way technology is going, I think our idea of privacy will be quite different in a few years. Everything we own, wear, or buy will be tracked. Everywhere we go will be caught on camera. Anyone will be able to look in just about any time they want.
      ariepert
  • IMHO......

    Let?s start a discussion here, using these two questions as a launching pad:

    How far should schools limit cellphone camera use in classrooms?

    they should not allow any electronic devices other than a calculator(and that should be strictly monitored) for math classes, ie. no laptops, phones, cameras, pdas....

    If students create clips of their teachers and post them on public websites, should that lead to disciplinary action?

    Students who violate the rules should be expelled for a short period of time then made to make up their time on weekends. They should also be arrested, fined, too, for also violating a person privacy if they post on a public site and their devices should be confuscated, sold and money donated to the school. The parents should be notified and reprimanded.
    Something needs to be done or otherwise letting the animals run wild in the zoo will and has cause nothing but choas.
    fredfarkwater@...
    • Hold the parents accountable

      you can't really prosecute a minor at least not effectively enough to send a message. Hold the parents feet to the fire and hold them accountable for their children's actions.

      Enough of this hand holding and shifting responsibility. Personal accountability is almost gone now, and enough already. I remember that if I did something wrong as a kid, my parents got into trouble for it which in turn means I got into worse trouble than the punishment was far more serious and noteworthy than anything the school could dole out.

      I am one of those few parents that tells the school that corporal punishment is acceptable so long as I am notified before hand and there to administer it. Fortunately I don't have to, my kids understand what respect for authority is as well as what it means to be publicly presentable. ]:)
      Linux User 147560
  • RE: Should students be allowed to tape and post videos of their teachers?

    Whether being taped or not Teachers will always be made fun of.......video and pictures are only too open about it but they are still better than students talkng about it to others...........
    rajeev.bhatta@...
  • Ironically I was actually considering encouraging this just yesterday

    My daughter has a teacher who comes off with parents as totally polite and helpful,
    but with the students she rejects completely legitimate questions (and solutions),
    tells them to, "shut up", and in general is so bad that a student teacher who
    worked with her was so discouraged that (after one more bad experience
    elsewhere) she gave up and left teaching.

    I'd love to see a collection of her behaviors recorded and posted on YouTube.

    But that said, no. Rules are meant to be broken, and an abusive teacher might be
    such a case, but I think a school has a right to restrict the public distribution of
    videos recorded in classrooms without the participants knowledge. But note my
    phrasing. I didn't say no recording. In fact, there have been times I wished my
    kids at at least recorded the homework assignment :-).
    KeeHinckley
    • I disagree...

      if a teacher is being abusive then filming them for evidence that MUST be presented to the Principal or school Superintendent is acceptable. BUT the teacher does have the right to know they are being filmed and why.

      What you are preaching is the exact mentality that a toltarian regime wants. Spy on your neighbors, spy on your parents, spy on your friends. If they do anything you deem wrong turn them in.

      Is this the kind of world you want to live in? Orwell was right, the time was wrong. ]:)
      Linux User 147560
  • RE: Should students be allowed to tape and post videos of their teachers?

    Absolutely not. Perhaps we should then ask, "Should teachers be allowed to tape and distribute footage on their students without their permission?" Posting footage for cruelty's sake is simply that: cruelty. If students have a problem with their teacher, they should report them to their headmaster, guidance counselor, and/or parent. What purpose does a youtube-posting serve other than to humiliate the unsusupecting? This kind of an act in an educational setting should never be tolerated. I don't think it's even a matter of censorship when the device (in this case a video) is used as a weapon. It's harassment. Pure and simple.
    dewolf37
  • RE: Should students be allowed to tape and post videos of their teachers?

    Since the little bastards have shown that they have no respect for their elders, then they shouldn't be having privileges that older people get. If you want respect, you have to give respect. Too bad their parents didn't teach them ethics, manners and morality. THERE'S the REAL failure of the education system - turning out adults that are deserving of the society they live in. I'm ashamed to be a boomer, because boomers - with their rabid insistence on "freedom" - were the exact group in this country that caused the downfall of ethics, manners and morality.
    cekestner@...