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February 8, 2008 / Ben Chun

Rick Roll?

I’m having students in my 10th grade class practice basic PowerPoint skills by making a presentation about a band or musical group that they like. The content really doesn’t matter much for the exercise, but it’s always interesting to find out what kids like to listen to. I’ve been surprised this year to meet a few kids who only listen to classical music, or who claim to not be interested enough in music to really know the names of any bands. What’s even more odd is that I believe them. I actually had a student ask if I could give them a list of groups to choose from. Now, granted, most of them dove right in and got very into finding tons of information about their favorite artists. This is something they like to do online anyway, so why not channel it into an activity that will help them build other skills?

Students like to check that their choices are okay. “Can I do John Legend?” Sure thing. But the best conversation I had went a little like this. Student:

Can I do Rick Roll for my PowerPoint?

Well, sure. Is he a rapper or producer or something?

No, well, yeah, he’s a singer. I think. I’m not sure.

You’re not sure?

Well, he’s on the internet, you know, people send you to the web site…

And that’s when I realized that my student was talking about Rick Astley. He thought dude’s actual name was Rick Roll.

2 Comments

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  1. Erik / Feb 9 2008 9:11 am

    I’m teaching computer skills to an elementary school these days and I am always surprised to find out what the kids are listening to and into. Depressingly enough, most of them are completely enamored of the WWE and the horrible examples it sets.

    By the way, Amy Leblanc gave me your link. I’m looking forward to more insights and ideas that might translate to a younger level.

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