Why Publish Student Work to the Web?

Here is yet another compelling reason why we should encourage posting student work to the Web. Enjoy this beautiful cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide from elementary students of the PS22 Chorus in New York City.

From the comments, “What does Stevie think of this?” (although I can’t confirm validity – confirmed here).

Just got word from Stevie Nicks tour manager that she was completely blown away by the PS22 Chorus rendition of her song “Landslide!” He said she asked him to replay 2 times afterwards, crying each time she watched! Talk about humbling!! And the kicker?? She invited the PS22 Chorus to sing the song at Madison Square Garden for the upcoming June 11th Fleetwood Mac show!! Holy cow!!!

It will be interesting to see if the RIAA feels the same way.

If you want to know more about this group and their story, I’d recommend reading “Glee Club” from The Brooklyn Rail. From that story …

It’s unusual, but it works. In a school where more than three quarters of the students are eligible for free lunch, the lyrics of the song have resonance, and the performance is haunting, emotive, and delivered with far more soul than one might expect from a bunch of fifth-graders.

Catch this while it is real. Don’t wait for the movie.

28 thoughts on “Why Publish Student Work to the Web?

  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing!! I couldn’t agree more! I had a class of English language learners this year who frequented a grammar site so often (as required by their teacher!) that the author of the site contacted us and proposed creating a project with the kids from all the way around the world (Thailand). A professional author and artist, he had so much more to offer my kids than I ever could have. Contact was run through a private blog and when then comic was finished, it was published on his site for the whole world to see! One student was so impacted by the experience that she continues to work with the author outside of school and has recently developed an infinite canvas project, which is soon to hit the site as well. The experience involved so much more learning than I can impart here, but for this one student in particular, it has been life changing. She’s only in seventh grade and already has published works to put on a resume! Beyond that, though, she has received first-hand validation that her artistic abilities CAN be part of a legitimate future career.
    If you want to check out the class work, it’s here: http://grammarmancomic.com/guatemala.html … and keep an eye out for the other work to be published soon!!

  2. Yeah, sue the little copyright thugs ;-) That is beautiful, thanks for finding and sharing. Can we all pitch in and buy the record industry a cheap seat on the Clue Train?

  3. This is SO touching! We’ve got to keep all kinds of art in the schools. Look at how meaningful this music is to these students. This teacher must love these kids. Beautiful in every way. No better testament to how important sharing on the web is and how powerful it can be!

  4. Great song, great cover, great kids with beautiful voices … a great story too.

    My favourite bit came at the very end (although the Stevie Nicks connection is pretty awesome too!) when the teacher turned and spoke to the camera: “That was gooood!” That comment encompassed so much; about him, his students, and how they all feel for each other.

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  7. Wow. Aside from this being amazing it definitely illustrates why we should think seriously about publishing student’s work. Thanks for this.

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  11. Alec-
    Thank you for sharing this incredibly beautiful and inspiring video. This not only illustrates the power of the web, the tools we have available to make our ideas, interpretations, and voices heard, but it illustrates that passion is needed in that work for it all to matter.

    The passion came through in their eyes, their melodic voices, and most importantly by the teachers smile in the last seconds. This may be the very thing that drew even the creator of the song to respond, as I am sure many of sung her words with great skills and accurracy.

    Passion like this is simply beautiful(and obviously contagious!)

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  13. Thanks for sharing. I wrote up a blog post in response to this post. My big question is how do teachers go about getting about posting student work online approved by administrators?

  14. I don’t know if this an answer to Dana Woods’ big (and it is big) question, but having heard Erin Gruwell (of “Freedom Writers” fame) discuss how she was able to do the things in her classroom that she did after continually being told no…I do believe, as she freely shared, that it is often easier to ask for forgiveness for having done something than it is to get permission to do something. Sometimes others need to see the final results before agreeing that it would have been a good idea from the start….

  15. Thank you all for commenting, posting, and for the links. It is great to see what attention this video (and their other videos) are getting, and I can only hope these types of activities continue to convince the skeptical as to why student publishing is important. Thanks for getting the message out!

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  17. What a wonderful video… the students seemed so enthusiastic and they richly deserve the success! I think that students publishing online is hugely important and so empowering for them. I’ve spent two years publishing students work online and wouldn’t work anywhere that I couldn’t. We have a lot of Maori students at my New Zealand School and their Culture is so important to them, to get their voice and themselves out to a national and international audience is such a buzz for them and so empowering and its a powerful tool I dont think educators should be without.

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  19. Thanks, Alec. We watched it this morning before sending the kids off to school. Made me cry … loved it, the story, and the amazing context.

  20. Isn’t it nice to see a group of kids really connect to a song that has powerful, touching lyrics instead of hate-filled rantings? I’ve seen inner city kids connect to Shakespeare, ELL kids connect to the Doors – great stuff that inspires me as an educator AND as someone who is an advocate of using technology to make sure that all kids are ready for the world that they need to face when they get out of school.

    Thanks for sharing this. One question….do these kids have agents yet (and union protection)?

  21. Pure awesome, just shows the power of sharing on the web that this made all the way to the lap of Steveie Nicks herslef and all of a sudden these kids are invited to go sing at Madison Sq Grdns, and they deserve it too, unbelievable cover!!!

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