Friday, September 02, 2016

On What Planet Is This Considered Appropriate?

I'm well-acquainted with a teacher who is soon to have a ridiculous requirement put on him/her.  He/she has a student with a 504 plan, and in an upcoming 504 meeting a new so-called accommodation will be in put into practice for the student.  This student will get to record each class with a phone, for reasons related to "processing disability".

I'm told that this so-called accommodation is superfluous, as online lectures from the textbook publisher are available to the student.  That apparently isn't satisfactory, as there is a push to allow the student to record classes anyway, despite the teacher's strenuous objection that that's invasive.  It seems the principal is leaning towards allowing this accommodation, which seems so outlandish to me that I almost can't believe it's real.

What do you think of this?  Are you aware of any similar accommodations?  Do you have any stories about similarly crazy accommodations that have been written into plans?  Share in the comments!

Update, 9/13/16:  I understand that the unstoppable force hit the immovable object.  There will be no recording.


Anonymous said...

My guess is that the student has been bullied by a teacher in the past and this is a protection designed by the parents to provide some ammunition if the teacher verbally assaults that student or others in the class room.

One of my children had a teacher who regularly called the kids stupid, asked if they had had a head injury and was generally abusive. She had tenure, so probably nothing could be done in any case, but it might have been helpful to have a record of the abuse.

I think a lot of 504 accommodations are attempts at preventive measures against teacher bullying.

Auntie Ann said...

Well, if it has to happen, a LiveScribe system would be less intrusive, and wouldn't lead to other students wondering why they can't have their phones out too.

Curmudgeon said...

I feel that the teacher and the other students would need to have a choice in this and using a personal cellphone is WAY too uncontrolled for my taste.

If recording a video is deemed necessary, then the teacher must be the one to set up the camera, record the class, and edit and post the video on a secured site (like a Moodle). Your union will most likely want a say in the matter since this entails a significant amount of work, and any stray or inappropriate comment would have to be edited out.

Allowing a student to film anyone he wants, apply any filter he wants, and disseminate however and to whomever he wants with selective editing and all, is irresponsible and probably violates any number of student privacy protection laws.

There are plenty of videos available. You don't need this.

Joshua Sasmor said...

I have had similar requests. While I don't have any major issue being recorded, I do have an issue with the student using a phone to do so. Unless the phone is at the teacher's desk, where the recording function can be activated and deactivated by the student for the entire class period, having the phone out is more of a distraction than an asset to the student. Is there a phone policy at your school? Could you request the use of a non-internet enabled recorder (whether digital or analog)? Or simply one controlled by the instructor?

I had to record classes for a student - I did the digital recording myself. Student had multiple chronic illnesses and was frequently out ill, and I arranged for copies of my "board work" (I usually write on paper under a document camera) to be sent to the student as well. All were emailed within 10 minutes of the end of the class (I had office hours immediately after class, and could send them right away). The student ended up withdrawing from the class, but the process worked while they were enrolled.

I have a current student who records the question and answer (recitation) section of my calculus 2 class. I have no problem with this, but I have told her that the recordings are for personal use only and should not be uploaded anywhere.

Darren said...

There's no indication that this is about bullying; as I said in the first paragraph, there seems to be some sore of medical or learning issue at play here.

I'll pass on the other suggestions!

mmazenko said...

I know teachers who record their lectures and put them online. And, years ago I had a student who asked to record lectures and class discussions to enable her to review discussion and ideas that she was unable to write down quickly enough. I had no problem with it, but I checked with district legal to see if that was acceptable. And, of course it is because it is a public forum. There is no expectation of privacy. I have no problem with kids recording a class. Why would you?

Darren said...

There are other ways for this student's disability to be accommodated, without having the teacher's voice and face recorded without his/her consent. I listed those other ways in the post.

Why do you want to insist that teachers be recorded by their students?

lgm said...

Here, the district says all persons must give written consent. We are full inclusion, so its never happened, as there will always be a parent who is protecting themselves by not consenting.

Steve USMA '85 said...

I've been following your blog ever since you've told me about it. I guess that would be almost since you started it. Well, I've finally joined your world to a degree by accepting an adjunct position at UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) teaching Probability & Statistics. Last night was the second class

At the beginning of class, one student asked to record my lecture so she could review it to improve her notes. I immediately thought of this post which I had read only that morning. Had to make a snap decision and I let her record the lecture last night with the caveat it was only for her, not to post (thanks for that idea Joshua Sasmor).

I also told her that I would have to think about it for the long term. Need to check the legalities with the math department as Curmudgeon mentioned to ensure I am not trampling on other student's rights. I encourage questions during my lecture and get a lot of them so I'm not the only person she is recording.

Darren said...

Steve, congratulations.

As for recording--I have no advice to offer you but am glad to have given you something to think about.

Anonymous said...

the ability to record should certainly not be given to all students, because as a student, no one would ever go back to rewatch a teacher's lecture. it's an invasion of privacy with virtually no reward