Just a 1/2 day here on campus on this lovely late-October Friday.
Homecoming is here. Classes ended at lunch. Life is good.
Beckett -- back on campus in his preschool for the first time in a full week -- came over to papa's side of campus to have lunch. Sitting on the floor of papa's classroom indian-style, the Long boys watched "Harold and the Purple Crayon" on the big screen while eating.
At some point in time, one of the good people that keeps papa's classroom clean came by with a vacuum to tidy up the room for the weekend.
Beckett celebrated her arrival by running *on top* of all of his student tables. Hard to fault his enthusiasm, although papa's students might have received a stern warning for similar behavior.
Even though things may appear to be resolved, it is worth reading Slyvia Martinez' follow-up blog post to the one that originally grabbed many of our attention. Note her efforts to find balance, which -- in spite of my own note left on the wiki -- is to be appreciated.
And also note the first commenter. I suspect that true resolution will be in bringing voices such as his and those who reacted out of frustration together to re-think the power of language when marketing to and about students/schools.
Been kicking around the idea of jump-staring "think:lab" once again.
Been nearly a year since I had the site shut down for a couple of reasons (focusing more on my classroom, less on consulting; being a father of another new child; time; etc.). And while I had hoped to wait a bit longer until the good people at Typepad were able to get everything put back together in terms of the template/design bits, something 'woke me up' today. And regardless of a poorly designed blog, the time to begin writing/publishing again is today.
I wanted to drop you a note to let you know that I find this session
title and the frame that you're using to sell your services to be
offensive and beyond the pale. Our students are not our enemies and
their behaviors are not rooted in violence. So long as you make them
out to be, though, you'll certainly be doing our schools and our
students a great deal of harm.
I suspect you're a smart dude, wise about networks and the Internet. I
hope you'll hear what I'm saying here and, in the future, when speaking
and teaching about the actions of our children, you'll do so in a way
that doesn't make them out to be criminals. Because they're not. No
more so than vendors are scoundrels that prey on our worst fears.
All the best. I'd look forward to your response.
Even if that was all that was written, a critical point would have been made.
But, others had added their voices, so I thought I'd think-out-loud a bit on the wiki as well.
This is an excerpt of my much longer response left on the wiki:
Whether I consider my world view as a father (of 2 in diapers), as an
educator (who now is a 10th grade English teacher), or as a
speaker/consultant (working with school architects/planners around the
world, and many vendors like yourself who hope to have their
products/services spec'd into projects), I am stunned by the choice you
(and your entire organization, since they are indeed associated
directly with the presentation) made in terms of framing the underlying
reasons why someone should select a school-wide Internet management
strategy with your firm.
Ultimately this is just business. And I don't mean that a vendor can
pull that trigger and ignore those who disagree with sales/marketing
tactics. No. What I mean is that our collective, global, 24/7, 2-way
response is "just business". While we may respond as people, parents,
educators, and citizens, ultimately our response is "just business".
And your bottom line.
While it is tempting for me to react as a father and as an advocate for
my students (and the many I support world-wide), it is within my
business/consulting/speaking role that I am most perplexed by your
session's title. A marketing/PR campaign that is centered on fear has
limited value, esp. when kids are now the "enemies" in a system where
they are actually the entire point.
Worse yet, such a marketing campaign that suggests that those who
advocate for kids should see *now* their relationship with young people
as nothing less than *proactive warfare* strikes me as misguided,
poorly conceived, and frankly the work of a late-night presentation
drafting scenario decision process as a nervous speaker tries to figure
out a way to superficially dress up their presentation in order to
desperately scrum for business in a desperately competitive market.
This does not seem like an industry leader's voice based on wisdom and
a view of the big picture. It sounds like someone fighting to keep
The language -- “The Enemy Within: Stop Students from Bypassing Your
Web Filters” -- you engaged your perceived audience with is at best
merely buzz-language hype. Note: As
an English teacher, I give you casual props for borrowing from
something that was stated long before your product came to market, but
that is a side point.
At worst, your language strips the very industry you are paid to
*serve* of its mission and heart, not to mention the fairly painful
irony that it attacks the very group that schools exist to advocate
for...and to empower...
Sincerely, Christian Long
While most of you can be far more pithy and to-the-point than I can, consider adding your voice to Chris, his company Sapphos, and NYSCATE (the conference organizers).