Thursday, March 24, 2011

Goofing Off Poorly

As mentioned previously I have a wonderful intern working in my classroom at the moment. So, for nearly a week now I have been out of there. I'm keeping busy (teaching guided reading groups in two classrooms, observing in bunches of classrooms) but I don't have direct, daily responsibility for my kids at the moment.

Yesterday afternoon, however, I got pulled into a problem that irritated me, but is now mostly making me laugh. My students use VoiceThread a lot in a lot of different ways. Recently they've been recording themselves reading their guided reading books and their own writing. Then they listen to themselves. It's pretty powerful.

Yesterday a few of my darlings decided to record themselves singing and rapping rather than reading. It was fairly tame (with lots of references to butts and poop) but clearly not what they should have been doing. I deleted these recordings, so as to retain the integrity of our VoiceThreads, of course.

But I was left feeling really annoyed with these three. Not because they had goofed off, which is pretty normal and easy to handle. But because they did it in such a dumb way.

My kids all created images to use as their icons on VoiceThread at the beginning of the year. They have to choose their own image before they record each time. These three all chose their own image before recording themselves misbehaving on multiple occasions.

Really? They couldn't choose another child's image? It's not that we wouldn't recognize their voices, but still. These are bright kids.

My husband gave me a hard time because I was upset that my students weren't sneakier. I guess it does seem a bit odd. But honestly, what were they thinking?

By the way, this is what I do when I should be preparing for ASCD. Only about 48 hours til my presentation and I'm blogging? It's possible I'm making as dumb of choices as these kids!


teacherninja said...

My wife is a 4th grade teacher and always says something to the effect that if they don't want to get in trouble for whatever she's busting them on, then they should be sneakier! But hey, it was a good teachable moment concerning online citizenship. They don't want to end up like that girl on youtube who ranted about the "Asians and their cellphones" and will now have that hanging over her head forever.

Dave said...

Maybe they didn't feel what they were doing was wrong? I can envision young students in this situation thinking they had just had a brilliant idea that would revolutionize the way your class uses VoiceThread.

I mean, they were still goofing off, but it at least shows that they feel comfortable enough with the technology you're integrating that they can come up with creative uses for it. :)

Jenny said...

Jim, It is a worthwhile conversation to have with kids. I'm glad to get them started thinking about it early - just as we want kids thinking about how they are acting with their friends and such. They can learn that their behavior impacts others and others' impressions of them, be it in person or online.

I can't describe how much I appreciate your comment. You've given me a whole other perspective on this and one that I needed. I think I was so annoyed that these children would do this because I saw it as offensive and disrespectful to my student teacher. I couldn't get past that. Thank you for showing me the other side!

Deb Frazier said...

I have a fabulous group of first graders who are very independent on VoiceThread as well. I am always so proud of the various ways they use VT,questioning,sharing and recommending books,publishing their writing just to name a few! One evening I logged into VT to see what had been created that day (I had been out and had a guest teacher). Browsing VT I noticed 2 students had been going behind peers as they were commenting via video and giving them bunny ears. Certainly this was typical first grade behavior. I did take this opportunity to explain how this disrespected and devalued the work of their peers. They were shocked! They simply hadn't thought about this! I have to laugh at the bunny ears and innocence!
I would love to share VoiceThread ideas with you!

ProfPete said...

I am starting to reach the view that it's a good thing that most criminals aren't very bright, or social order would be harder to come by. I guess most miscreants don't really think they will be caught, or think what they did was that bad?

I agree with Jim and Dave's more mature comments - this opens a teachable moment, and a chance for these little ones to learn about responsibility in social media.

Thanks for sharing - I like reading about real experiences from real classrooms with real students (I teach at university, so struggle at times with my "ivory tower" perspective).