Telling Tales Out of School, on YouTube – New York Times
In the good old days, students simply used technology like cellphones to cheat on tests. Now, they’re posting what happens in their classrooms on YouTube.
Two students who attend the equivalent of Grade 9 at a school in Gatineau, Quebec, a city across the river from Ottawa, were sent home last week after officials learned that they had posted a videotape of a teacher losing his temper on YouTube. The episode was not spontaneous. A girl, who has not been identified, provoked the teacher while a boy secretly taped the encounter with a compact video camera.
YouTube removed the video at the request of the Portages-de-l’Outaouais school board a week ago, the board president Jocelyn Blondin said. But that has left the question of determining what to do with the students and how to prevent similar episodes in the future.
While Mr. Blondin declined to name the teacher, he said that the man is a 33-year veteran who specialized in teaching students with learning disabilities. The teacher is now on voluntary sick leave, and officials at his union say that he is so embarrassed that he may never return to class.
Mr. Blondin said one indication of the teacher’s high standing among most students is that other pupils at the school alerted the administration about the YouTube posting.
“Other students in the school know he’s a good teacher,” Mr. Blondin said. “They’re now frightened that everyone is going to be made to pay for this.”
The Gatineau police are also investigating the episode. The police in another Quebec community, Chicoutimi, are also attempting to identify the students responsible for a similar episode where a teacher was provoked, the reaction recorded and posted.
For now, the high school in Gatineau has responded by banning all electronic devices, including cellphones and digital music players.
The board will consider applying the measure to all its schools next month.
“It’s not easy to find these kinds of cameras. We don’t have metal detectors in the classrooms,” Mr. Blondin said.
Filed under: digital, Gen Y, Internet, living target, Media, Mobile, Teens, Tweens, Video, VOD, youtube