Born Digital, Live Digital, And Our Students' Obsession With Documenting Their Lives

Source: Spencer Brown
Does our obsession with technology and documentation go too far? This powerful, short film titled “The Boy With The Camera Face” by filmmaker Spencer Brown is a satirical fairy tale about a boy born with a camera instead of a head who cannot escape the lens. From the moment of his birth, everything about his life is recorded. Does this sound like our students, or maybe you?

 The Boy with a Camera for a Face from Spencer Brown on Vimeo.

The narration by Steven Berkoff tells the story in a nursery rhyme or somewhat Seussical way. As the tale unfolds, it’s clear that the effect on people’s fixation with the daily life of the “Camera Boy” is hypnotic. They stop noticing things around them and become transfixed as if in a catatonic state -- a scenario we witness on a daily basis with our students on their devices.

Perhaps even more important is the issue of privacy in the always-on world. As educators, we want to take advantage of the liminal web while still preserving the anonymity of our learners. That task is a lot harder today then it was a decade ago.

This award-winning film is worth 14 minutes of your time. It puts modern reality into focus in a beautiful, strange, and moving way.

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