We’d rather talk about Radiohead.

It was one of those Fridays today when I would much rather have been lying in bed. My students also looked rather zombie-ish with dark circles painted under their eyes and postures resembling cavemen in need of a chiropractor. Here’s the thing: It’s winter in Canada and my grade 7s are going through their Michael-Jackson-in-Thriller-pubescent-transformations. Sometimes it’s best if we just respect one another’s space.

Anyway, I was trying to lead this wonderfully enigmatic lot in a backchannel discussion deconstructing oral presentation skills. It was like pulling teeth. Here’s what they wanted to chat about instead.

Do I swell with pride seeing that my students care that much about Radiohead? You’re darn right I do. Was that my plan for our lesson and use of the tool? Nope.

If you want to have a class where kids have a certain degree of control over the whats, whens, and hows of technology, especially in regards to the mobile variety and social media, don’t freak out when they start having arguments about how much “[Coldplay is] a suckyer [sic] version of Radiohead”. We all have our frigid Canadian Friday mornings.

Now that we’ve settled that, let’s get to the really important stuff. Is it Coldplay’s “Trouble” or Radiohead’s “Karma Police”? Vote in the comments below.



  1. Although karma police is the far superior song, I do think Coldplay has them beat as a band overall. In my experience, many claim to love radiohead, but are actually only exposed to a few songs from ok computer.

    Thats my input anyway!

  2. Always love reading what you’re doing with your students, bro.

    Coldplay’s Fix You might have been a better song to compare Radioheads’s Karma. The song Trouble is not as musically, structurally, or texturally interesting, IMHO.

    And you’re absolutely right – we all have frigid Canadian Friday mornings, even in Philly. 🙂


    Your long lost sis

  3. I’d be proud of any child who can appreciate Radioehead. I think it would be a great discussion, though, to talk about both the lyrical and musical complexities of one band versus another. Last year, I had a ton of students who liked Iron and Wine, Sufjan Stevens and The Postal Service. I was shocked. Alternative media has meant they don’t all listen to robotic hip hop anymore.

    I know we can do musical inclusion in poetry and social studies. But I wonder why we can’t actually listen to and discuss the mood, sounds, structure, themes of music itself. Still trying to wrap my brain around which standards I could attach those to.

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