In an effort to recognize the importance of teaching, the Rossier School of Education partnered with 2tor, Inc — a company that provides online education along with universities — to create an innovative platform to show appreciation for teachers, using new media.
The website, “My Teacher, My Hero,” was launched in conjunction with the Rossier’s new Masters of Arts in Teaching online course, MAT@USC. The website allows people to upload videos of themselves thanking their teachers and emphasizing the importance of the profession.
“[It] shows people who are considering becoming teachers how important and impactful the profession is,” said Margo Pensavalle, associate professor of clinical education.
The purpose of My Teacher, My Hero is two-fold, said Jeremy Johnson, 2tor chief technology officer. The site is run by MAT@USC and 2tor and is a vehicle to promote the new program and show interested applicants how to receive more information.
The site hopes to “help raise the status of teachers in our society” by hosting numerous videos from “leaders in film, entertainment, and politics that are speaking about how their teachers impacted their lives,” Johnson said.
Contributors who have already uploaded video to the site include Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, musician Sean Paul, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and president of HBO Entertainment Sue Naegle.
The creators of My Teacher, My Hero are hoping to get site visits from students, teachers and young children alike. The site will recognize teachers and show that people appreciate what they contribute. Johnson also wants parents and young children who visit the site to see the incredible impact teachers have on society.
They want to “show people that being a teacher is a rich [and] rewarding profession” and prospective teachers “should not feel as though others will not respect them,” Johnson said.
2tor chose to use video as a mechanism to recognize teachers because “video allows you to touch and feel something a little more acutely and be a little more involved,” according to Johnson.
The video submission process is user friendly, and social media tools make it simpler to share video. 2tor set up links to Facebook, Twitter and an email form to “make [uploading a video] easiest as possible.”
The onus is on the video submitter to share the video with the public and email it to their teacher, if they so choose, Johnson said.
USC students recognized the value of demonstrating appreciation for great teaching, but there were mixed opinions on whether they would actually upload videos.
“I’ve had good teachers, but not enough to put a video online,” said Jayson Kellogg, a sophomore majoring in philosophy.
Freshman Ann Jankowski, however, said she would upload a video for her favorite teacher in high school that wasn’t liked by many other students.
“I adored her and I want to show her that people care and she deserves to be acknowledged,” Jankowski, a theatre major, said.