If the Queen can do it

Interesting observations from a student in the UK.

http://students2oh.org/2007/12/26/royal-changes/

He asks a good question. If the British Monarchy is on top of things like having the Queen’s Christmas message delivered via the latest in technology, why aren’t schools up to the task? It may be an over simplification, but it does ask a good question. Somehow, I doubt that the Prince taped it on a cell phone and later uploaded it to YouTube. But that’s not the point. The point is that the whole organization recognized the power of using social media to reach the masses. To have the message on demand time shifts message. Instead of a once in a year event, it can now be played and revisited as often as you want. Through the magic of editing, the 1957 message is a perfect lead-in to this year’s message. Both are firsts; in 1957 it was the first televised broadcase and fifty years later, we have the first sanctioned Internet broadcast.

Similarly, the Ontario Ministry of Education recognizes the importance and power of new technologies. They are also cognisant of the current issues and bullying online is the focus of a recent review and report. http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/safeschools/respect.html. The report is much more than an update on online bullying. It reveals the level of sophisticated use of technologies that students possess. One of the callouts says it all “… the Internet cannot be turned off – it’s global and it’s evolving.”

In the classroom, this could be a powerful tool. But, while it’s not turned off completely, it can be crippled. In typical slow to react fashion, the Queen’s message won’t be available as it gets trapped behind content filters. Capture it at home and bring it into class and play it? Don’t think so – check out the terms of use for the content. This potentially valuable resource will be unusable in many educational settings. But that’s OK. Even if it could be potentially played, there are often other hurdles that couldn’t be cleared. Wrong player, no bandwidth, abuse by others, …

But that’s OK. They won’t be able to see it in China either. http://www.forbes.com/technology/2008/01/03/china-censorship-youtube-tech-intel-cx_ag_1203techchina.html

The result is that students may get the opportunity to view it at home or at a friend’s house. What they won’t get is the ability to see it incorporated into a lesson by a professional that can help them see the importance of ever changing media.

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