Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I'm gonna make you a star!

This is probably something you wouldn't want to happen to you, nor is this. They neatly illustrate what is certain to be the next big problem in teaching.

Type in 'Teacher' on Youtube and you will be amazed (hopefully) to find that there are about 13 000 videos. Some show teachers being beaten up, some show teachers purportedly drunk, losing their temper or doing the sort of things that people do. Others just show teachers teaching and some are probably faked.

This has all the signs of a future nightmare. Cameras on phones are constantly improving and becoming ever cheaper. It's very easy to post stuff on Youtube but virtually impossible for the subject to know if they are on there.

Requesting that material be removed should be fairly straightforward (especially now that they have been bought by Google) but if you are unaware of its existence then you will only find out that you are a film star long after your entire school has; maybe when someone kindly mentions it at Parents Evening for instance.

Any school that doesn't at least try to ban mobiles is utterly mad and has only themselves to blame.


Anonymous said...

Ouch! I can almost feel that punch.

Anonymous said...

A group of us asked our Head not to allow mobile phones on the school premises, as they cause endless disruption and if you try to confiscate them, half the time the pupil just refuses to hand them over.

She eventually agreed to write a letter to all parents but then backed down when some of them heard about it and started moaning about 'safety' and 'human rights' etc etc.

It just goes to show that the pupils and parents run the school really.

Anonymous said...

why not allow phones, but only ones without cameras, if it's a safety issue?

Anonymous said...

Mobile phones don't keep kids safe, sensible precautions do; such as not walking home on your own, not accepting lifts from strangers etc.

They are a problem in our school as we don't seem to have a clear policy on them, or rather we do but it changes if the parent phones up or just comes in to school.

dearieme said...

We were very keen for our daughter to have a mobile so that she could phone us when public transport had let her down again. And again, and again.....

Anonymous said...

That's a whole can of worms.

We tried banning mobile phones with camera's but hardly any of our students had a phone that didn't have a camera (students always seem to have the latest models). There was total uproar at the thought of banning all mobiles (Human Rights Act, Safety Issues etc etc) so we reached a compromise, any student who posts a video anywhere online with content that the subjects of the video object to would be banned from bringing a mobile to school.

This has so far worked well and seemed to satisfy everbody (which was a first)

Harry Hutton said...


Here's one of a teacher hurling a phone on the floor.

Anonymous said...

A video posted on YouTube is valid evidence for use in court.

I think that the next step is for the unions, as LEAs & the DfES aren't interested in protecting teachers.

The unions should adopt a policy of supporting private prosecutions against any individuals behind a video posted on the internet.

Sue the little f***ers.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: 'any student who posts a video anywhere online with content that the subjects of the video object to would be banned from bringing a mobile to school.'

But how do you know who has taken the video and who has posted it? What if the suspect denies it and it was sent from an anonymous email address?

The only solution is to stop the kids from bringing mobiles into school

Mary said...

dearieme - pre-mobiles, if public transport let me down I could just go back into the school, go to the office, explain the problem and they would call my mum for me.

I also had to have a couple of 20pence pieces on me at all times which I emphatically was Not allowed to spend, in case I had to find a payphone/pay to be allowed to use a phone in a shop/etc. Strangely enough no one ever mugged me for them and my teachers didn't have a problem with them either.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be easy for the kids to be allowed to bring mobiles, but from the beginning of the day until they leave the premises they are locked in the kids lockers? NO phones in lessons, seems easy. It's about time someone got to grips with "Human Rights" and put it into sensible perspective.
I never had a mobile at school, and here I am all these years later none the worse for it.
And I don't think the owrld is inherently more dangerous for children than it ever was, the media just whips any given tory up until there's a rapist, murderer or child abudctor behind every school wall.

dearieme said...

Fair enough, Mary, but that wouldn't work for our daughter when she was at the playing fields, which were a long trek from the school. Nor could she treck back from the stop where she had to change buses to the school -in fact, even her first bus stop was quite a walk if carrying much (and they all do, don't they?). Pay phones tended to be rare, vandalised, or in use. The mobile was exactly the right answer.

The TEFL Tradesman said...

What's wrong with the damned things!? Just make sure the students switch them off during lessons. If it rings, it gets confiscated until the end of the day (or the next) - no argument!

Anonymous said...

Jamieson, 'no argument' is fiction at our school.

Here's what really happens

1)Phone goes off
2)Nobody wiil admit it is theirs; much sniggering.
3)Lesson carries on
4)Phone goes off
It is definately one of six possible pupils. None will admit who's it is and even when they do, no self respecting yob nowadays would hand their phone over to a teacher. (or SMT, who might turn up or might not. Either way you can write off the rest of the lesson if you involve them)
5)Lesson restarts
6)Go to 1)

We haven't even started on the nightmare that is cameraphones

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be a bore, but I have to point out that this is the word you are looking for (one of six pupils, above).

Dianne said...

I have mixed views on mobile phones in school. Maybe allow them in and provide lockers with one camera covering them to reduce vandalism.

Phones go in lockers until breaks.

Still wouldn't fix the problem of sussing who's cell went off in class though.

It's a tricky one!

Anonymous said...

A long while ago, there was a product that blocked mobile phone calls. This was intended for theatres, cinemas and so on. Why not have one in schools (or would that infringe someone's human rights?)

Anonymous said...

Those videos are quite, quite shocking. What I would like to know is what happened next. Had I been the target in either case I would have called the police and had the perpetrator charged with assault. What is even more shocking is the comment on the punch video which says 'that is so funny'. What sort of human being finds that sort of thing funny?

Anonymous said...

Doherty, any device which blocks a mobile phone signal is illegal in the UK (as it broadcasts on the same frequency and you need a licence to do that)

What bugs me is that we always wimp out and worry about rights etc. Just ban the bloody things and make up a reason why

Anonymous said...

What hope is there for society if a parent has that sort of pathetic mentality ?? Apart from the shock of it what prevented the teacher from going beserk & stamping on the parents head repeatedly ??

Have I gone too far there ?

Anonymous said...

Logically, tho not probably realistically.... You can get a basic mobile (no pics) cheap-ish now. Given all the money a child/parent spends on the 'latest' phone, they dont have a reasonable argument that they cant afford to buy a cheap basic one as well, for school.

That there isnt a reasonable excuse wont stop parents having a try, tho!

Gets round all the safety and human rights issues. Could actually make kids safer- maybe less likely to get mugged if not visibly using the 'latest' one?

A locker isnt a viable option. Not all kids have a locker at all, and having phones in lockers (one or several) is bound to mean a high risk of robbery/theft. CCTV isnt an option- who is going to sit all day and watch it? Kids are CCTV savvy, too

Interesting thought: can a teacher therefore take videos on their phones of parents behaving badly, and post them?!

(I'm not a teacher, but sympathise with all these crowd control issues being in the way of what must be a difficult job already)

Anonymous said...

Regarding comments on youtube and the like. I nearly always disregard comments by anyone who feels the need to type 'lol' and 'lmao'. Its a simple way of stopping your mind being polluted by the drivelling of half-wits.

Anonymous said...

What is it with all this human rights crap? Who's school is it? Why don't heads just say "you don't like my rules? Take your brat elsewhere."

New school rule: If a phone is being used in lesson, it will be confiscated and destroyed.

Now you know, it'll be your fault if it ends up in pieces. What's that? You don't like it? Take your brat elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

'Anonymous' A strong Head would say something like that and bugger the consequences. Unfortunately we have very, very few strong Heads...

Most of those who are good leaders either don't come into teaching in the first place because of the generally low perception of the profession, or leave totally disillusioned a few years later.

Anonymous said...

I work at the bottom of the dungheap for a Government Department "somewhere in England" and it is very difficult to get a mobile signal inside the building.

I know it could be expensive to retro-fit old school buildings, but why not press for building regulations to require that all new school buildings incorporate a Faraday cage? (Ask a Physics teacher or look up 'electromagnetic shielding' in Wikipedia.) No electromagnetic signal in or out except by wires. If the so-and-so's simply couldn't use the things in class, they would hopefully give up.

Anonymous said...

I have accepted that i can't fight the tide of mobile phones in school on my own so i have embraced the technology.

Year 8s homework recently was to find images to use on their websites, one option given was to take a picture on a camera phone and bluetooth it to my laptop to hand it in. Unsurprisingly this was the prefered choice and it give me an opportunity to discuss responsible use and phone etiquette.

I was a little bit wary of advocating brining phones to school but it has cut (not eliminated) the inapropriate and anti-social use in my lessons. I'm an NQT so it was with trepidation that i broke the rules - i ran it past my HoD who thought it was risky but that if i felt confident of managing any risks to go with it, i never mentioned it to smt but they have since found out and were fairly positive about it.

I'll certainly use it again and plan to do similar with other classes - i have found this and teaching other desirable behaviours very useful, i know it shouldn't be down to schools to teach these things but lets face it many of the young folk we come into contact with are lacking in self discipline and social skills and they need to pick them up from somewhere - after all if it makes you life easier and improves the lives of the sprogs then it's worth the effort.