Board of Education Ponders Web Broadcasts of Meetings

| 18 Comments

The Metuchen Board of Education debated at the last meeting whether or not to make videos of these meetings available on the school website for future viewing. Ben Small said that he felt that, if the Board was going to make good on their desire to help improve the communication between the public and themselves, meetings should be rebroadcast on the web. His reasoning included that parents with school-age children were busy at the time the meetings are broadcast, whether they are helping children complete homework assignments or putting little ones to bed or going to work.

On the other hand, Devra Golbe felt that the possibility of the Board's comments being You-Tubed and manipulated was far too high to risk putting the meetings online and Eileen Frowenfeld suspected that the demand for this service was only a minimal one.

Dan Benderly acknowledged that the METV broadcasts of the meetings are a popular way for community households to tune into what's going on. He reiterated that the lack of cable in many homes in the area makes it difficult for those households to be part of this process so the availability of these broadcasts on the web would be helpful for a lot of townspeople who wanted to keep up on the Board's discussions.

At present, the meetings are broadcast live via METV. METV is not available on all Cablevision customers' homes.

18 Comments

How many children go to board of ed meetings? Sometimes they have one of the high school bands there, or a play preview, but the parents have to agree to the kids appearing on TV. Someone could record those appearances from METV and post them on YouTube right now. The horse has left the barn.

I watched this fiasco on METV the other day. This topic was debated for over a half hour and it evolved into misconceptions with regard to Youtube and broadcasting children over the internet. The topic was simply "should we post the Board of Ed meetings on the web". Maybe this is why only one member from the public showed up for the actual meeting. I was fast forwarding from my DVR to ease the pain a bit.

The fact that there is a hint of resistance here should be a LOUD signal for change. The internet will deliver all of the information to the masses and will also provide for feedback that many present Board members continue to believe are unsupported by the public. Just as Metuchenmatters.com AND the most recent Board of Ed public forum BOTH showed huge support for full day kindergaten, the Board itself continues to maintain that this is not needed. The message was loud and clear to me while I watched several Board of Ed members resist against the possibility of internet postings. The last poster has revealed that METV may be posting such content soon regardless. It is time to move into the 21st century, with or without some of the members of the Board of Ed.

I don't think the meetings themselves will be on YouTube. YouTube does not allow postings of that length. The meetings could be posted right now on the borough web site. Or they can wait for the new METV web site to get up and running. They should not bother to waste money on an interim solution.

I also have a difficult time getting home in time for the meetings and would love to be able to watch them anytime I can on YouTube. The excuse about someone manipulating them is ridiculus. Like it was pointed out earlier it can be done now. What are they afraid that someone will manipulate the superintendent into doing the chicken dance? We are not teaching our children anything by hiding our heads in the sand and not moving into the 21st century. Please broadcast them on the web. Thank you.

Benderly, Flaherty and Gibson are the newest members, all elected last year.

I have asked Cablevision several times and they have confirmed my box is free forever provided I make no changes to my service. I don't know why other people can't get the same deal I got. Maybe you have to have been a customer since the 1980s.

delusional.
backward thinking.
irresponsible.

and so on.

Some questions here, isn't Art Flarity also a new member?

In terms of Cablevision sending you a free box, its only free for a year, after that you will indeed incur a monthly charge.

If someone has the knowledge and the skills to doctor a clip on YouTube, doing so with a VCR recording off cable would be much easier for them. Screwing around with video isn't all that easy, and if some networks trust their content there, I think ours is safe.

Sure, someone at the meeting might embarrass themselves somehow and it goes to the world, but 3rd party tampering is pretty remote.

Thank you Ben for taking up this fight!!! The people support you and are looking forward to the meetings being on the web. Don't be swayed by the naysayers.

To the dissenters on this position: think long and hard about this. Is this what you want to demonstrate to the children of our town? We should be scared of technology? We should do less to involve the public in public matters? If we had a teacher talking this kind of backwards non-sense I am sure there would be committees formed and Terri writing them up. Come to your senses people and join the 21st century!

Just a minor correction to the original article. Ben Small is not the newest member of the B.O.E. He was elected two years ago and his present term ends next year. Jackie Gibson and Dan Benderly are the newest members.
Apparently Ben just has the newest thinking going on. But to be fair, I wouldn't know the other seven members' thoughts on the subject since I was not home Tuesday night and couldn't watch the meeting. People are busy with young children at night and others are at their own meetings or they're just plain too tired to watch. If the B.O.E. wants the entire community to stay involved, they should put their meetings on the web where people can view them any time, on weekends and even during the day.

Paranoid?

this is such backward thinking.

this is hardly the material anyone would find worth their time to creative manipulate for
art or politcal statement.

either way, the original authenticated video would be available via, say, the town site.


If you don't have a cable box, but you have cable and you want METV, Cablevision will send you a box for free. It stays free as long as you don't make any changes to your service. When they first made the change, they sent out a postacrd or letter about it.

What a paranoid delusion! manipulating the tapes???
Put the meetings on the school website like the borough council puts theirs on the web.
Even if you get cable, unless you have a cable box, you cannot get METV.

I really hope they put the BOE meetings on the web. I am one of those people who cannot get to the meetings because earning money to stay in this town is a priority. However, so is my children's education and so watching at my convenience (as I do the Town Council meetings) is something that would be extremely helpful. As far as You Tube goes, I think people have better things to do with their time and even if something does get onto You Tube, so what, the BOE member gets 5 minutes of fame!

Some points. Do not put them on the Web and a whole lot of people will be suspicious for no good reason since a whole lot of people have satellite TV these days and do not get not cable. Look out your windows. A lot of people watch the Boro Council meetings on the Web so I wonder what makes one theorize they would not watch the school board meetings? To me wake up times they are a changing.

I can tape it from cable and do that right now. Hmmmm

Manipulating them on you-tube? Is she kidding? I haven't seen anyone doing that with the borough council meetings. I don't think you can even download the videos, just watch them.

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Recent Comments

  • Anonymous: How many children go to board of ed meetings? Sometimes read more
  • Anonymous: I watched this fiasco on METV the other day. This read more
  • Anonymous: I don't think the meetings themselves will be on YouTube. read more
  • Anonymous: I also have a difficult time getting home in time read more
  • Anonymous: Benderly, Flaherty and Gibson are the newest members, all elected read more
  • Anonymous: I have asked Cablevision several times and they have confirmed read more
  • Anonymous: delusional. backward thinking. irresponsible. and so on. read more
  • Anonymous: Some questions here, isn't Art Flarity also a new member? read more
  • Anonymous: Thank you Ben for taking up this fight!!! The people read more
  • anonymous: Just a minor correction to the original article. Ben Small read more

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