If A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words, What Is A Video Worth?

My fourth graders have produced a 5 minute video that tells the story of how we Skyped a classmate that has leukemia into our classroom. To see the video click the YouTube video below:

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97 thoughts on “If A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words, What Is A Video Worth?

  1. Well, there’s nothing like sitting in a hotel room in Tonopah and getting tear-y watching this amazing video. This is amazing. I said this in an earlier post, but I feel as though I’m watching history happen. Applause, Brian & company.

  2. Brian,

    You and your fourth graders should be recognized and commended on such a wonderful job you are doing with this. As you well know, in the past students in the same situation as Celeste would have only received a weekly or daily packet of work to complete so that they could keep up with the class. If they were lucky, the school district may have sent a home school teacher to her house to tutor her. What your class is doing is remarkable and shows how these new technologies can be best used in our schools. Congratulations on such a wonderful job and please let your students know that I completely enjoyed watching their video about this.

    Brian Grenier
    El Paso, TX

  3. Amazing. There’s using technology in your classroom, and then there is using technology.

    This is amazing Brian. I will be sharing this with anyone that will watch. Great work my friend.

  4. Wow! I am doing an Internet Awareness seminar today, where we go over some of the “evils” of the Internet. Since I am much more biased toward Internet and tools than I am against it (e.g., I don’t believe in filtering, blocked access, lock-ins, lock-outs, etc.), I always leave the audience with some of the reasons why we NEED Internet access in our classrooms and why there should be no blockage to the tools we choose.

    Rather than explain away, I think I will just leave this video speak for itself. This is very powerful! Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. Brian and students, thanks so much for sharing this with us! I know I have much to learn as I watch your progress…and from such able teachers!

    Best wishes to you and all your students!


  6. What a wonderful video – I am really impressed with your students. Never mind the great use of technology – the whole concept of including Celeste in your class is something your students will always remember.
    I look forward to updates. Congratulations to you and your class!

  7. You’ve made a convert. Being a district admin, I am initially cautious of new technologies that may tax an already overextended system… but you’ve proven that the cost is far outweighed by the benefits.

    Congrats. You’ve touched more than one life.

  8. Brian this video footage is simply amazing as many others have said, it shows how truly education should embrace the motto ‘Every Child matters’ . I hope that you won’t mind me showing it to as many people in the UK as I can – very best wishes and keep up the good work Paul H ( Wales UK)

  9. Brian, a very powerful production. Kudos to you and your students.

    I notice the copyright at the end.
    May I acquire the file to put on my local Blackboard service for my 23 Central NY school districts to access? If so, just send me an email and maybe let others know how they may use your fine work to further your message and techniques!

    Thanks again to you and your kids for a very meaningful movie!!

  10. This is a wonderful example of why all classrooms should have access to the Internet and tools such as Skype. Congratulations to Celeste and the rest of the students for working together to make this happen. Thanks for sharing – these are the kinds of examples our reluctant decision makers need to see.

  11. Sharing this today in my class with preservice elementary teachers at the College of William and Mary and 200 inservice teachers in Alabama. I plan to blog about it too. Wow.

    This is so powerful. Thank your students for me.

  12. Brian,
    At the risk of being redundant, I also want to tell you how wonderful this project is. I plan on sharing this with my staff, and with our district administrators. Thank you for inspiring me!

  13. Brian,
    My son was diagnosed in the summer before fourth grade with Leukemia. We tried a program similar to Skype, it was not so clear. I am thrilled to see a program that can mainstream a child with low immunities into the classroom. As a parent of a child who is sick, and as a fourth grade teacher myself, I am in awe. Thank you for your support, your insight and your love.

  14. Brian,
    What a great way to make a child feel apart of the class. My Daughter Caroline has NHL and was unable to go to school for months. Not being able to see friends and school mates really took a toll on her. She now relapsed after three years of being off treatment and will miss the rest of the year due to chemo.

    I am sure that your class changed Celestes live in a very good way.

    Every school should be doing this!

  15. Brian,

    Fantastic job including Celeste in your classroom using Skype. It’s great to see the connections that a teacher who cares can make with his students. Keep up the great work!

    This is a tremendous lesson for your students in accepting students who are different.

    Mike Arsenault
    Yarmouth, Maine

  16. WOW!! My son has recently finished treatment for high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia and this would’ve helped him a great deal in keeping up with (although his school is also an exemplary group of compassionate people who jumped through hoops for him). My utmost respect and thanks for sharing your innovation and for extending your classroom to those who need it.

    Also, last but certainly not least: Way to go, Celest!! There were many days when even low levels of activity would’ve been too taxing for my son so I’m happy for you and glad that you’re getting a chance to do things with a classroom full of caring people. Feel free to contact me if you ever need encouragement! Get well – you’ll be in my prayers!

  17. Huzzah for you! Having taught inclusion for the last 1 1/2 years, the last 1/2 of which I’ve had a young lady with CP who does not communicate verbally it is TRULY amazing how technology allows all to share in a Free and Appropriate Education.

    Again, Kudos to you and your class!

  18. Hi Brian,

    Quite apart from the very real human element of this whole brilliant exercise, your students, (including the very brave Celeste), are to be congratulated for the extrememely coherent and well presented introduction to using video Skype. More power to you all, I shall be showing this video to my class down here in Geelong, Victoria, Australia.

    PS huge credit to you too in bringing together the diverse aspects of the technology.

  19. This is amazing. Thank you for sharing. It is great to see students and teachers utilizing technology in ways behond the obvious! This experience is one that they will all remember forever.

  20. Awesome post! Thanks for the “tutorial” on skype. If you don’t mind – I’d like to link this video to our science grant we are working on “Alaskans Scientists of the Future” (ASOF) where we are video conferencing, using Skype, between Anchorage, Prince William Sound, Denali, and Hawaii.
    Roxy Kohler

  21. This is such a worthwhile project! You and your students are wonderful people! 🙂 Thanks for planting this seed in the minds of other educators. Has Skype heard what you are up to? I sure hope so!

  22. Hi. I’m a 44 years old English teachers at Francisco Lazo Martí High School in Apure State in Venezuela. I’m surprised about what you people do over there. You know I’d like to have an interactive classroom as you have. In that way, students never, but never, get bored and learn more through awaken classes. Congratulations to the responsible teacher.

  23. Simply awesome, Brian. Keep us out here in the edublogosphere up to date with your progress in your inclusive classroom. So often that phrase “inclusion” gets bandied around without any meaning but you’ve turned it into a verb here.

  24. Brian,

    First, thank you for sharing this story.
    Second, I shared this video with the faculty and staff at the school where I teach. Several teachers asked me to express their appreciation for what you are doing.
    Third, I have written about this as part of my own reflective thoughts on “best practices” in education. Your work is among the best examples of any kind I’ve seen of teaching students with modern technology, and the best in the area of “inclusion.” You are changing lives and attitudes in your classroom, and around the world.

    I wish you and your class only the best. Say hello to your students, and I wish Celeste and her family God’s blessings.

  25. This is truly inspiring. The teacher in me just decided to kick it up a notch. I truly appreciate the lengths the entire class went to ensure that all students were included. This is what education is supposed to look like.

  26. Great work Mr. Crosby’s 4th grade students and Mr. Crosby! Your example is a powerful one that I’m glad so many others are able to learn about thanks to the Internet and this blog. Please continue to keep us posted about how your learning experiences with Celeste go. You have told us a powerful story that is literally being heard around the world. Keep up the creative and caring work you’re doing together!

  27. Many thanks to all involved with this, especially the students.
    What a great way to connect with others in a supportive classroom environment.

    I shall be sharing this with others to act as a catalyst in promoting often misunderstood web 2.0 technologies. It has been my personal drive and quest of late to gather and share, so thanks to all for helping me do this

    “The road to a friend’s house is never long.” – Danish proverb – and in this case the road to Celeste’s house has been removed completely

  28. Dear Mr Crosby and kids,

    this is one of the most important videos on education that I have ever seen. While I already believe strongly in the value of ICT in the classroom, I am impressed with your creativity and intiative in coming up with an elegant solution to a difficult problem that teachers have experienced since teaching began. I have a hunch that Celeste is not the only person who benefited from your clever idea. I am an Aussie sitting here in Istanbul, Turkey, where I’m teaching at The Koç (pron: coach) School.

    Thanks for an inspiring video. I think you’ve changed the world for the better.

  29. Dear Mr. Crosby and all of the 4th Grade Class,
    What a great journey you have all started. As I read through the postings that many have left for you on your blog I am touched by the global connection you have made. I too am quite a distance away – in New Zealand. I am also a strong advocate for ICT and continue to work to bring new technologies into the classroom – but it is still the heart and spirit of human nature I believe that really makes technology shine.

    Well done, you are all a great inspiration!

  30. Yep.

    Clap-clap and then another resounding echo from a million other hands. Care to ellucidate how you’ve got past the IP, privacy and security protocols for your clients in your respective organisation ?

    Of course…..the technology is the enabler. It’s the hedgemony thats the issue.

  31. This has been a favorite of mine since you posted it. Reading an article today about buddies helping out an ill classmate gave me an awesome opportunity to share this video in context. My students loved it. Even when we had a technical glitch with Quicktime, the kids were bummed but patient waiting for it to fix itself. Thank you so much for allowing me to start a whole new discussion about true friendship and caring for fellow classmates. it is one thing to talk about it. It is another to bring in reality of what younger students are doing.

  32. Alexander Hayes – my district doesn’t block Skype, Flickr, Blogs – but does block Myspace, YouTube – our greatest hurdle is a relatively slow connection – may get a boost soon, but I’m not holding my breath.

  33. Congratulations to Mr. Crosby and the Fourth Graders at Agnes Riley School. I saw your great video “Inclusion” on the Internet yesterday and liked it so much that I am sending a link of your video to over 120 teachers in Southeastern Indiana. My job is to promote the use of video conferencing within K-12 schools in Southeastern Indiana and I think this video is a wonderful example of how video conferencing can be used in the classroom. Thank you Kids and Mr. Crosby for making my job a little easier.

    Jerry R. Steuerwald
    Distance Learning Specialist
    Wilson Education Center
    Charlestown, Indiana

  34. It’s nice and beautiful. All the students can communicate and feel.
    If the lonely pepple are participated in this kind of way, they are more active and motivate. good luck~~

  35. Oh help!

    I cannot open the video but I would like to say…..I have 5 and 7 year old daughters with genius IQs. They cannot ever go to school because of an immune disorder. We are fighting tooth and nail with the school district to allow my children the opportunity to interact with other children through video conferencing. They are arguing that it is a violation of privacy, but they use it for their students in the classroom. They are refusing to accept that our children have social needs and will not address them until we prove social incompetency. My little girls are so special and so intact emotionally and I want to keep it that way. My advocacy team is beginning to agree with the school that they do not have to consider social needs unless we prove social incompetency. This is so intensely upsetting to us and we need all the help we can get. I tried to open this video and thought that perhaps I could forward it on to the person at the schools who is causing the problems for us. Our battle is unbeleiveable.

    Please, please post or emial recommendations. My advocates are refusing to support us through this unless I can find case law or legally support inclusion for my children and I am not finding anything. It is very hard for me to beleive that it is not out there somewhere.


  36. What an amazing video! When I was 7, I was hospitalized in an isolation ward for a month with no contact except hospital staff. How wonderful it would have been to have been able to connect to others in this way. Congratulations to your class for making this video.

  37. I think that is very cool that you can do this. It is amazing how far technology has come. I never knew you could do this. Very cool!

  38. I think Skype is a really neat idea. I find it amazing that Fourth Graders knew how to do this and could teach us and I am a Senior in High School and had no idea what it even was! I think that if kids are homebound for some reason this would really help and that our High School’s laptops should really look into it!

  39. Hello,
    Your class seems wonderful. I think it is great that you are intermingling alot of different types of things into the classroom. I have a epilepsy support website called ready set walk, and I work with the epilepsy foundation of virginia. We are having a art contest for fourth graders on “wear a helmet, prevent epilepsy”. Your class seems like they would love to be involved in something like this. Email me and let me know. I have all the information for you if you and your class would like to participate. My alternate email is klcortes@yahoo.com, I am looking forward to hearing from you.
    Kristen 🙂

  40. Brian,

    You are doing a great job. Celest has a lot of courage and spunk, and I appreciate that. My family and I will be praying for her and her family as the days go on.


  41. I am a homebound teacher. I currently have 6 students that I serve in their homes daily. I am in constant contact with their classroom teachers and keep the connection open between school and home, as much as possible. I see Skyping as a wonderful tool to not only help with the academics but really be a social connection for all of my students. Thank you for sharing your ideas and your wonderful 4th grade class with us.

  42. What a fabulous opportunity for the students in Crosby’s class in developing computer skills that will last them a lifetime. It was really heartening to see the little girl able to attend school from home. This was really special.

  43. @Terri Cerda:
    Could it be that you weren’t able to open the video because of the format? If your media player says it can’t open or recognize the format, you can download other players for free (like KM Player or Quicktime Player) and play it that way. It is a wonderful video and well worth watching. I understand what you are going through. I teach at a school where we are getting more and more restricted on technology access instead of less. Just this week, I was told that I would not be allowed to use the labs for at least another 6 weeks because my classes were taking too long to complete a project, even though I am one of only 3 teachers that make use of the labs. If you need help with the video, email me at TJEssary at gmail.


  44. This video is inspiring. I am a teacher-to-be and last semester I had a class on inclusive practices. This video really reinforces the content of that class and shows a real-life application of using technology to include those students who cannot physically be in our classroom. I love how it all began with a discussion about how the students would feel in such an isolated situation; I think that really empowered them and made them embrace their new classmate and the method of interaction. It seemed to really set an atmosphere of acceptance. Thank you so much for sharing.

  45. Hi Brian –

    First of all, what you did here is amazing! Kudos to you for utilizing technology and creative thinking to change the life of that little girl! What an amazing opportunity for the rest of your class as well, what a great real world lesson in inclusion and compassion! Bravo!

    My next question is this, I came across this blog while I was researching different methods of using video conferencing to create opportunities for distance learning. I teach in a gifted school for 1st-7th graders and we are looking into ways of including students from outside of our school in our advanced level math classes. We have iPads with facetime and laptops with built in webcams, but I was wondering if you would be willing to chat a little bit about how you went about setting everything up/problems you had/advice you would give etc. My email is slgoerke@gbaps.org – make sure to include “gbaps” in the subject line, or it won’t get through my school’s spam blocker! 🙂

    Thank you for everything you are doing for your students!
    Talk to you soon!


  46. I too, have a student with cancer who recently had a bone marrow transplant. I love your idea, and am wondering if you have found any other ways to include your homebound student? We had a DARE officier visiting one day, and he was able to SKYPE also with our class and Ava. Do you have any other ideas? I am searching for more ideas to include her! Mrs. Ross

    From Brian: Yes – Blogs, wikis, Google Hangouts and more. Feel free to contact me email: learningismessy@gmail.com