A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A feature of YouTube that I truly hate

For a teacher, particularly a male teacher, any perception of inappropriate behavior, real or imagined can be the kiss of death. Rule number 1: never be stupid enough to be alone in a room with a student, always keep doors open, and remain visible.

I know. A few years ago, I was falsely accused of "inappropriate touching," and was utterly unable to defend myself. For several weeks I was left totally in the dark, and nobody would even tell me what it was that I was being accused of doing, was treated as though the rule of thumb was "guilty until found innocent."

Dealing with a false accusation felt as though I had entered the Twilight Zone. I was only exonerating after meeting with the lone Investigator in the school district after having waited several weeks for the gentleman to return home to the U.S. from overseas, and thoroughly investigate the matter, i.e., interview all the witnesses, take photos, talk with all the students, get a statement from the other teacher, who was 5 feet away having a conversation with me during the entire time of the alleged incident, and vouched for me, etc., during which time it was impossible to find work, and it felt like the world was caving in on me. That was nearly the straw that broke the camel's back. I was just about done with teaching after that.

After my name was cleared, my next call I got from within the school system was from a school with a Kindergarten teacher who was about to have a baby, who had actually had her baby the day before school started. On virtually no notice, I launched a Kindergarten class, despite never having taught Kindergarten. Launching that Kindergarten class, thanks to all of the support I received from teachers and parents alike, restored my confidence, and rekindled my desire to keep going, so much so, that I was inspired to enter Marymount University's Professional Development School.

Thus, when I innocently utilized the movie creation feature of Picasa to display student work from an art lesson I did, entitled "Bad Hair Day," then shared the footage YouTube, the last thing I expected was for my presentation of first grade art to be associated with inappropriate sexual innuendo, simply because I had used "Bad Hair Day" keywords.

When my Mom called tonight in a panic, telling me I needed to "take it down, take it down," the first thing that came to mind in my bewilderment was that my account had been hacked. I rushed home from walking Mabel, or rather from dragging her along the path, since Mabel had turned her body 180 degrees so that she could engage with dogs that were behind us, researched the issue, and even sent feedback to Google.

Here's what I learned when I got home: YouTube automatically associates other videos that contain the same keywords, whether or not the the content is objectionable. Ergo, "guilt by association." Therefore, I am currently exploring alternatives to using YouTube to record, store, and distribute audio and video content via the cloud, because the inability of individual users like myself to control associated content  is extremely troubling to me. YouTube is not a monopoly. I will find other alternatives. For now, I will leave the post as it is and let readers judge for themselves whether I did anything wrong.

See for yourself what excited my Mom so much, who was bawling after we left the Investigator's office, just a river of tears. It was horrible, horrible.