Monday, September 7, 2009

President Obama's Address to Schoolchildren

President Obama will be addressing school children on the importance of studying hard and taking responsibility for their own education tomorrow. Of course, it's raised one of the more ridiculous political uprisings in recent memory, and that's saying a lot. Conservatives are upset by the proposed speech, and fear President Obama is trying to "indoctrinate" the youth of America. It's just more of the product of the fear-mongering done by the right about the "scary socialist black militant" that Obama supposedly is. Socialist? He's not even liberal.

Anyhow, as ridiculous as it is, and as hypocritical the right wingers are for protesting when Bush I and Reagan both did the same sort of school address with no vociferous protests by the left, the address is still happening. If I've been disappointed by Obama, it's because of something that I knew he would do - compromise. He's compromising too much on health care, and I was afraid he might 'compromise' on the his school address. Glad he's not.

I think a pro-education message from the President would be a great thing for my students to see; unfortunately, I know of no way that my students could see the address tomorrow. There are 15-20 year old TVs up in the rooms, the product of the long-unused (at least in our school, where it hasn't been shown in at least 10 years) Channel One Teen News. However, few of these televisions still work and they're not hooked up to any cable or anything like that. I could try to show it from the Internet, but am also not sure how exactly this could work; I've never tried to use my (personal) LCD Projector for anything from the internet, and my personal laptop that I use with my LCD has never successful hooked up to the internet. So, this whole question of whether to show the address or not seems moot to me, at least in my city school. And, the thing is, I'm pretty happy with facilities this year; teachers have all been given new computers this year, and they're nice. But that's about it in terms of technology; I know of no way to show this Presidential address to my students (other than crowding around my computer monitor, which I might end up doing because it's my small class).

Frankly, I wonder how other schools might be able to show it. Do most schools have cable pumped into their classrooms? If so, why? If not, how else to show it? I can see how a technology class with easy hookup to the internet and an LCD Projector could do it easily, but that's about it.

So, in other words, it's not much of a controversy to me. I don't really have much of a way to show it, anyway. And I doubt this is the exception for many urban school districts, who are full of kids who might need to hear President Obama's pro-education message the most.


Anonymous said...

Wow - your school is really behind the times. We have high speed internet connections, hooked to LCD projectors, plus a mounted TV with cable in each classroom in my district.

A BCPSS Parent said...

I hadn't thought of that aspect. I think my high school student has some sort of video system piped into every room (there's been mention of video announcements in the morning). I assume they could pipe in the address to every room that way. Getting info out of a spacey 10th grader is a challenge, but supposedly they'll be watching it. I'd guess my 5th grader will do so through a school assembly, since it's a pretty small school and they do that a fair amount. No word at the middle school. I guess we might have to watch it a home.

MS literacy said...

Yeah, my school has the same sort of setup as Anonymous. Cable TV and high-speed Internet in every room. However, you're right to ask what on earth the cable TV is used for (besides allowing the janitors to watch Judge Judy once the kids go home). We will be watching tomorrow, at the request of our principal.

Anonymous said...

If you really believe that seeing Obama's speech would benefit your students, you could download it from your home computer on Tuesday night, then show it on Wednesday.

If the speech is one that will make an impact, does it matter if the students see it live or (slightly) delayed?

If you would like help making sure you can play the file in your classroom, post again here and I will send you an e-mail.

Teach Baltimore said...

Thanks. That's a good idea. I'm not that technical but will fiddle around with it Tuesday night and see if I need any help.

There is also a chance that our principal will have something planned around it. He might, for example, just play it over the PA on Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

I am the same "Anonymous" from Comment 4. I sent you an e-mail regarding the video. Hope this helps.