Controversy over Obama's student address? Gimme a break!

I'm just not seeing it, folks. Is a "rah rah, stay in school" speech from the President really such a bad thing to let kids watch online? It's better than most of what they watch on YouTube.

President Obama will be live streaming an address via the White House website on Tuesday. Apparently, though, as one of my state technology mailing lists has exploded with inquiries and as headlines are indicating, this is proving to be remarkably controversial.

Really? I know his popularity is slumping. I know the economy still stinks and nobody can agree on health care reform. Fine. But he is the President of the United States. It seems like a reasonable thing for our students to at least observe and discuss the address. Better yet, through the use of technology, students can watch it asynchronously, individually on their own computers, in a lab, or projected from a computer. Like the guy or not, at least his administration has embraced technology with which the YouTube generation can identify.

Of course, as the Christian Science Monitor points out, the idea of using such technology to "indoctrinate" a captive audience is exactly what's causing so much controversy.

Apparently, Columbia, Ohio schools don't even have Internet connections (or just really don't want to deal with the controversy). According to the Columbia Tribune,

[District representatives said the] school district doesn’t have any information about the address to air on its cable channel. The school district’s cable station also can only air previously recorded shows and cannot air satellite-broadcast programming. The school district does not have closed-circuit TV in all classrooms. “We don’t have the funding or the equipment to support that type of broadcasting,” she said.

I'm just not seeing it, folks. Is a "rah rah, stay in school" speech from the President really such a bad thing to let kids watch online? It's better than most of what they watch on YouTube. Talk back below and let me know.

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