Friday, February 29, 2008

Guerrilla Teaching

"Guerrilla warfare is the unconventional warfare and combat with which small group combatants use mobile combat a larger, less mobile formal army." -Wikipedia

It is an undeclared war, but battles are being waged daily. And just when you believe your side is winning...

Skirmish #1:
Jeff O'Hara zemote @ericolson Looking at: "TED | Talks | Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity? (video)" (

dmcordell dmcordell @zemote Tried to open "Do Schools Kill Creativity" at school. Blocked by firewall. Does that answer the question?

Jeff O'Hara zemote @dmcordell I think you answered the question perfectly :)

Erica iteachcomputers @dmcordell - THAT is the definition of irony!

Skirmish #2:

dmcordell dmcordell @Digimom Very fluky firewall:kids can get to YouTube(I can get to Twitter/no gmail or Reader)but humor, incl some political cartoons,blocked.

Anna Adam Digimom @dmcordell HUMOR is blocked by your firewall? I would tell you that's hilarious but then you wouldn't be allowed to read this!

Talk about irony: after telling Digimom that YouTube was freely available, I went online to add a clip, that features Guy Kawasaki explaining his 10/20/30 PowerPoint Rule, to my Blackboard account. Without warning or explanation, YouTube is now blocked. Teachers in our district have no override privileges, so we must request that the IT unblock specific sites for specific dates and class periods. Assuming, of course, that he is in the building and available to assist us.

I found a university site that had the video embedded in a blog posting. Since the clip did not come directly from YouTube, it remained unblocked and available for use.

Therefore, I may be embedding video clips for instructional use in my blog. Like this sequence of self-portraits of Vincent van Gogh: totally school appropriate, unavailable because it's on YouTube.

I will never knowingly expose my students to inappropriate resources, but I WILL enrich their learning experiences whenever and however I can.

It's a battle many of us fight daily. Our small successes represent great victories for our students.

*Note: I had trouble embedding videos on blogger, so I've created a rough & ready site at Tumblr, Guerrilla Teaching Resources. It will do...for now.

Thanks to @
garageflowers for the suggestion!


Anonymous said...

Education authorities just have it so wrong on Web 2.0 most of the time. Are you following Ewan McIntosh on Twitter?
He seems heavily involved in education embracing the new digital era.
Oh, and I'm following you on Tumblr now too. I've also got a Tumblr blog which you can find here, if you're interested:
I don't know... with all this following, I'm getting dizzy. Or is that the champagne ;-)

diane said...


In the tiny rural town where I teach, the main career choices (unless you commute) are farming or being a prison guard.

Without high speed access at home, these kids are starving for connectivity at school.

Digital equity is almost as necessary in this age as food, clothing, and shelter.

I want them to know the larger world. Then, if they choose to remain in their home town, it's a choice and not a sentence.