TekTek Intro | Story | Filmmaker | Cast | Reactions |

The following is an excerpt from an email I received early in 2000:

First off, let me commend you for making such a fine film. It does a GREAT job of reinforcing what I have been trying to get across to our students and staff for the past 6 or 7 years. (Yes, I've been involved with the 'net for at least that long...) I don't really remember how we came across it, but, for us, it has been put to use in several ways.

First, a bit about our school. We are located in the "heart" of Nassau County, NY. We are a Middle School with approximately 680 kids grades 6-8. The population is predominately 1st or second generation Europeans (primarily Portugese) and Central Americans. The parents generally value education highly and tend to be very supportive of the schools.

As to our use of your film, here's a list of the ways we used it. (Please realize that these are the ones that jump to mind quickly...we probably did some other things with it.)

1. As our teachers started becoming more "Internet aware" (ie: their own children started getting computers and going online), I sent the video home with them to watch both alone and with their kids. Reaction is generally shock, followed by the inevitable "How can I make my kid safe?" question.

2. In one of my classes, an 11 y/o girl asked why she "keeps getting all these dirty emails." I used that question as a jumping off point to begin discussion on Internet safety with the kids and used TekTek to help them better understand the things I was saying. Obviously, there were a few snickers, but overall, I think the message sank in.

3. The "community meeting" you saw on the web page. Actually, this was an outgrowth of the 11 y/o's question in class, as my aide was the president of the PTA at the time. We used the section of TekTek where he finds out that his "girlfriend" is actually the group of guys. Imagine the reaction of the 50+ mothers in the room. Some pretty lively discussion followed! This presentation was done again this year for another 40-50 parents and, although I didn't take the lead on this one, reaction was again very positive with lively discussion following.

4. We use the Generation Why program (genwhy.wednet.edu) in our school with our 6th graders and the tape was used (I think in its entirety) during discussion about IRC. The students were then asked to write letters to TekTek explaining how he could have made better decisions and making suggestions as to how to avoid future problems.

All in all, it has been a VERY useful tool for us as we address the issues associated with the Internet.

When "TekTek" screened at the Dallas Video Festival in 1998, several newspapers responded:

Evokes both parental concerns and adolescent fears and fantasies about the dark side of the Internet culture, and it's just unsettlling enought to serve as an effective cautionary tale.
The Met (Dallas/Ft. Worth Entertainment Weekly)

Festival Highlight
Dallas Morning News

Dallas Family Magazine

All contents copyright 2004 by Rich Samuels
Address all inquiries to Rich Samuels at rich@rlsventures.com