I know that your querry, seems quite simple on the surface, but it brings to
mind something that I have put a good bit of thought into...the ethics of
approaching someone to be interviewed. With the horrible events of
Virginia, last week, it has been foremost in my mind.
Let me explain.
After I set up the original dialogue with the 4th graders from Nevada and
the 8th graders in Virginia, I begun to have some regret. Originally, I
think I had hoped the story would generate some "sympathy" for the situation
of the young girl in Nevada....but it also was intended to get people to
respond to me. It gave me a very uneasy feeling about using her misfortune
as a stepping stool for my own motivation. Additionally, much of what is
heard in the audio is scripted. Or at least the questions were, and I know
that the 4th graders were well versed about what appropriate answers they
might give....at least those in the class room, I am not so sure about the
young lady enduring her stay at home. I was hit with the urgency of "this
has to happen now, because she might not be here tomorrow" and that in
itself was a very uncomfortable feeling. In retrospect, I dont think the
kids suffered as much from these emotions as I did.
Had I the same project to do over again, I would look for some deeper
motivation. And perhaps your efforts already contain that. I do not teach
young folks and I do not know how well they handle concepts such as illness
and disability, but I am concerned that interacting with the 4th graders
might be a bit over the edge. On the other hand, Lee Baber's class seems
more interested in how to create content using media such as Skype and
Webcasting. I suspect that they would be far more interested in your
project, and perhaps more emotionally prepared to deal with your group of
young folks (I really hate to use the word 'disabled' or 'handi-capped'.)
Additionally, I think they are more prepared, technologically, to do what
you are asking. In my mind, I would far rather you approach them.
Finally, I referenced the situation that occured at Virginia Tech last
week. New reporters were interviewing everyone that moved.... They asked
questions to get at information that they perceived as 'news', but now I
wonder how much of the 'news' is just meant for titillation to get folks
interested in reading someone's article. Last night, over the radio, I
heard a number of the students ask that news reporter not return to the
campus to ask questions. I doubt that many news organizations will heed
this requests, but it sort of confirms some of my thoughts about the ethics
of the questioning of victims of all sorts of circumstances. I personally,
would rather know that the students at Virginia Tech and those of other
circumstances, perhaps the young lady in Nevada, just be allowed to get on
with their lives. I wish I had done a better job of ensuring her approval
before I included her in our interview.
Just my two cents.
Regarding your project: I think it is a terrific idea and one that
definitely has potential and warrants a lot of thought and preparation. If
I can assist in anyway, please let me know.
On 4/22/07, Fernanda Rodrigues <fernanda.rodrigues@...> wrote:
> Hi Elderbob
> It has been my intention to reply to this email of yours, but I have
> been so busy that only now have the time to do it in a calm way.
> You see, your report interests me mostly. This year I am working with
> students/children who suffer from motor disabilities (mostly cerebral
> palsy) ,
> and chronic disease. Some of them are in hospital for long periods and
> attend hospital schools, others have to stay at home for long periods
> due to their condition. We have created a network of hospital schools
> and the children connect regularly to a state school in the area, using
> a ISDN line and a videoconferencing system called PictureTel. We call it
> As we have few resources and PictureTel is no longer produced and only
> works with windows 98 and similar systems are very expensive, we have
> started to experiment with connections using the Internet and Skype or
> other similar tools for those children who are at home.
> We have had problems with the sound quality. Sometimes the connection
> in good condition, but after a while there comes a noise which makes
> communication impossible. We have not figured out what causes the
> problem, perhaps the line conditions at schools - they have ADSL
> - or not enough broadband.
> Anyway, I thought it might be a good idea to try to get in touch with
> the Nevada class and the student who is at home, and perhaps organize a
> TeleAula with them. What do you think?
> a Webhead in Portugal
> On Sun, 1 Apr 2007 13:46:12 -0500
> Elderbob <elderbob@... <elderbob%40elderbob.com>> wrote:
> > Last week, I had a wonderful experience that I think represents one of
> > really useful ways that Skype is being used in the classroom. Perhaps it
> > goes a long way in saying something about Web 2.0 and how it enhances
> > community.
> > Brian Crosby and his Nevada class of 4th graders include a student whose
> > medical condition precludes her from attending regular classroom
> > activities. So with a little leg-work and hand-shaking, Brian got some
> > community members to provide a home link-up for the child who can't
> > The story of how it was done and what the class is doing got my
> > and I wanted to learn more. I contacted him, and having talked it over
> > his class, they agreed to be interviewed by Lee Babers 8th class in
> > who man the webcasts at YouthBridges (the student version of
> > WIth a bit of thought and collaboration, we finally succeeded in
> > all the dots, and met last Thursday via Skype. There were a number of
> > connection and production problems but under it all was a humane
> interest in
> > how one class continued to include a student that otherwise would have
> > disconnected. This was truly a "No Child Left Behind Story".
> > In the end, I was able to edit out most of the technical glitches which
> > eventually resulted in a 21 minute interview of one class by the other.
> > story is greater than that, and I have tried to piece together most of
> it in
> > a blog post. You can see any one of three versions of the story among
> > blogs below:
> > Eldertown -
> > Knowplace Blog � http://knowplace.ca/blog
> > (These first two blogs are both my contributions and are essentially the
> > same.)
> > Learning is Messy Blog - http://learningismessy.com/blog/?p=233
> > (This is Brian Crosby's Sparks, Nevada Blog)
> > YouthBridges - http://youthbridges.net/?q=node/35
> > (and this is Lee Baber's Virginia YouthBridges edition)
> > These kids would love it if you would post your thoughts to the various
> > blogs (and I would too).
> > Be sure to watch the videos, one was produced by the 4th grade class and
> > other is news coverage of the same story.
> > Thanks to all those who participated in the actual experience, and thank
> > for reading.
> > elderbob
> > -- Helping folks understand that it's never too late to become all they
> > wanted to become.
Helping folks understand that it's never too late to become all they ever
wanted to become.
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