It’s been three eventful weeks since the day we released that video. The EdEvolution class has learned quite a bit about the impact their work can have since then. From some ill-fated adventures on Reddit, to an eye-opening positive meeting with our local district superintendent, the reception their video has garnered was quite varied.
I think that when the video originally came out and the initial push to make it known by the students trickled off without apparently “catching” beyond their local community, disappointment was the general feeling. Being the digital generation, we viewed that Youtube hit counter as a marker of our success. When it started tapering off before we even crossed the 2,000 line, I think we were frustrated.
Then the superintendent showed up to talk with the class about it, and his visibly emotional reaction noticeably surprised the class. I thought it was a fascinating lesson in itself – that even in the digital age, sometimes the impact of what one does cannot be measured digitally. Here was clear, irrefutable evidence that someone of genuine clout in education had been considerably affected by their work. The class, in some ways, had to that point failed to realize the considerable message they had delivered:
“You who educate us, who have devoted your life to that cause, through no ill intent, have served us poorly.”
That’s a tough thing to hear, and to see it articulated so clearly and creatively affected even me, watching it come together. Although – and they stress this point – they don’t feel teachers are to blame, ultimately, the buck stops with the teachers and administrators.
It’s a tough pill to swallow.
For the most part, though, we were inclined to consider the attention-gaining phase to have been largely only a local success, and learn what we could from the results. Experiment concluded, partial success, and so we move on.
Then, 48 hours ago, something happened. We’re still not quite sure how, but it has. Mindshift picked up the students’ message, and this blog, and the attached forums. Suddenly, in the last 48 hours, the message is getting as much attention as it did in the week it launched. Suddenly, the quest to spread the word is back on. Suddenly, the possibility of one little message triggering one great big cause lives anew.
Suddenly, once again, all things are possible.