I Hate This Sh!# Lesson!

That was the content of the email I received last night. It was an email alert, automatically generated when someone posts a comment on one of my YouTube screencasts. The latest comment is “I hate this sh!# lesson”. See it here

I have to admit, this made me feel a bit hurt. After all, it’s there for free, nobody is asking this person to watch it. If s/he didn’t like it, why not just stop watching? Fortunately, that same video has received lots of positive comments and a few that were constructively critical – which is great! But there was nothing constructive I could intuit in “I hate this sh!# lesson!”

I shouldn’t have allowed myself to feel hurt. It’s just one mean comment out of sixty eight. But it did make me think about something. I have long advocated that teachers who make podcasts, screencasts and other digital resources should publish them online and make them available to the world. I have often been saddened by the fact that so few teachers are willing to do so.

I wonder how many teachers are prevented from publishing their best work online by the fear that it will draw criticism? It does. Sometimes. And when it does, it hurts. I guess I don’t have a very thick skin.

But thick skin or not, when I read the many other grateful comments from students who claim that this video helped them to understand a concept they previously couldn’t grasp (see screenshot below), I’m encouraged to keep giving my stuff away. After all, that’s why I became a teacher. I’m betting that’s also why you became a teacher. So again, I encourage my readers to take the risk, and give your best work to the world online.


11 thoughts on “I Hate This Sh!# Lesson!

  1. Hi Andrew,

    Trolls are just a fact of life on the internet – so experiencing one means you are blooded and now better able to advise teachers and students how to deal with one emotionally and practically. The answer is that practically you can choose to engage in an emotionally detached way (so sorry it didn’t meet your needs – could you explain what was lacking/can I help you find a lesson that would help) or ignore it. ; )

    As you have stated, if the person had expanded upon his criticism and said why he thought the lesson was sh*t, then you both would have gotten something out of the comment. As it is, he comes off a troll and you come off baffled and hurt.

    Onward and upward!



  2. Hi Andrew,

    Unfortunately, these people are extremely common on the Internet. As a member of some of the largest gaming communities, I myself are often saddened by the comments of some. As KerryJ says, Trolls are unavoidable and it is best to try to ignore them. The definition of “internet troll is: someone who posts controversial and usually irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of baiting other users into an emotional response[1] or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion

    This picture is a crude, yet amusing assessment of trolls on the internet. http://tiny.cc/t7xmo

    Your lessons are fantastic and will always be a motivational key to e-Learning at South West TAFE šŸ™‚

    Hopefully your spirits won’t be dampened for too long!

  3. Hi Andrew. Keep up the great work. Just remember that most trolls live under bridges in darkness and only come out to feast on unwary people or frighten them. šŸ˜‰
    Have a great year and keep being innovative. Our kids need this variety.

  4. Hi Andrew, The work you do is amazing and all the positive comments you have received must be kept on top of your memory bank. I would like to know more about that commentor – Who were they really? Was it a student, was it a troll. If it was a student, was the comment directed at your lesson, or was it a comment generally against biology or the lesson content, rather than a reflection on your great presentation.
    When online, we do open ourselves up to anyone and need to shoulder the criticisms, remembering there is a full mix of potential viewers/readers and highlight all the wonderful and positive feedback. Pioneers are particularly vulnerable, especially those who have sites that are frequently visited.
    Love your work and keep up these fantastic opportunities for global learners!

  5. Hi Andrew,
    Many of us have been on the receiving end of negative comments and it can be especially difficult when the criticism is broadcast for the world to see. This is an unfortunate fact of the online environment, but surely all the positive opportunities offered for teaching and learning outweigh this drawback. You have demonstrated with all your online work the outstanding outcomes for students who actively participate in blended learning programs and are an inspiration to teachers around the globe. Don’t let one ignorant and misguided comment get you down šŸ™‚

    I was also interested in your comment on Twitter yesterday directed at teachers using iPads in classes in 2011 – at Hawkesdale P12 College we will be trialling their use in both primary and secondary classes.

  6. Hi Andrew – my org firewall didn’t let me see the picture posted by D4rty but I suspect it’s along the lines of possibly my favourite ever xkcd cartoon: http://xkcd.com/202/

    I think it’s terrific that you’re blogging about this. It rebukes the twit who posted the comment and gives others the opportunity to dismiss any twits they encounter online. It also reveals your vulnerability to these sorts of comments (which, to some, would be unimaginable – surely someone as confident as you would not have these feelings) and how you’re able to put them in perspective and, most importantly, reject the shame that they usually invoke.

    Onya. šŸ™‚

  7. Keep up the good work Douchy, your podcasts are amazing and brought back my love of the subject.


  8. hey douchy – wasn’t sure how to email you so i’m putting this here even though it’s not related to the post…

    thought you might be interested in seeing this magnificent girl’s videos

    cool huh?

    how long before students doing this sort of thing becomes normal (cos they don’t know that they can’t)?

    am so impressed – figured you would be too


    • that *is* cool. I mean fractals are cool in themselves… but the use of video to explain the concept is also very cool.

  9. Douchy… the comments were merely a symptom of a bigger issue…
    Keep up the brilliant work…

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