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I’d Like An Argument, Please…

July 1, 2007


Courtesy of Mashable I’ve just found which is a Youtube derivative devoted to ‘issues’. I thoroughly approve of the basic concept, though I can already find my hackles rising at some of the content… But wait, I suppose that is the purpose of a site called!

There are a number of different channels available ranging from Politics to Technology, but the one that caught my eye was Education. At the moment it appears to have a predominance of teachers from the English education system, but I suspect that will change with time. It’s not so much the ‘what’ of people’s videos as it is about the discussion they engender.

One problem I face is encouraging pupils to consider other points-of-view (they have to write at least one discursive essay as part of their coursework), and often to have their own opinions… this is pretty easy to do with a resource like

In fact, I would love to get my pupils to record their discursive essays and post them to a site like to start a conversation. All too often, we ask pupils to write essays which are ‘closed’ — by that, I mean they are only writing as a means to an end in order to get a grade. If they were honest, they are often not too involved in their topic, and this comes across in the passion, or lack of it, in their writing… but suppose their point-of-view was put into a forum where they would have to justify and expound on their point-of-view… where they were being actively challenged by people who would give and take no quarter… where they would have to believe in what they were saying… The potential benefits to their writing are incalculable! It might just be possible to give pupils the push they need to realise that what they do in school is worth more than a grade… that it is their opinions that matter and that writing is the means by which we express these opinions!

The only reason I am not going to start doing this immediately after the holiday is because does seem to be plagued by spammers in the comments/discussions… but if they can do something about that (can anyone say catchpa?) then the site could be a really valuable addition to the teacher’s arsenal…

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 1, 2007 11:53 pm

    Mr W,

    Many thanks for your posting about our site – Friction TV. I just wanted to quickly respond to your comment about spammers hitting the site with trash text. We have been monitoring this carefully and indeed clear all such postings on a nightly basis. The use of “catchpa” input is something we have considered, but purely held back to keep site use quick and easy. However, we may decide to turn this on unless we can find a more efficient way to keep those pesky spammers out! Either way, we hope this situation doesn’t put you off from using the site and look forward to seeing you on there soon!

    Best wishes, Lucy

  2. July 2, 2007 12:00 am

    I’m impressed! Sometimes when you speak, the people you need to have listening are!

    To Lucy (and the other friction folk) thanks!

  3. July 2, 2007 12:04 am

    You’re welcome – we aim to please!

  4. July 2, 2007 12:05 am

    …you’re also really quick to respond! 😉

  5. July 2, 2007 8:47 pm

    How about a Glow version?? 🙂

  6. July 3, 2007 6:04 am

    Now you’re talking… though I think the real world would be more likely to challenge them!

    Have a good break…

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