U.S. President Barack Obama addresses America’s schoolchildren today at 12 p.m. ET. He’ll welcome kids back for the school year and encourage them to take personal responsibility for their education. The speech will be primarily distributed online: streamed live on whitehouse.gov and also on Facebook, which will have a CNN Inauguration-style live chat (Facebook has now made that chat add-on available for use on any web site, but the White House is known to be wary of asking citizens to be tracked by an outside service on its own site). The White House also went to YouTube with a speech promo that enlisted NASCAR drivers (see video embedded above).
The address will also be accessible on C-SPAN and via satellite feed. A downloadable version will be available later today. More resources are here.
From Obama’s pre-released remarks:
We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.
Of course, in the current political climate, the speech has already been a topic of controversy, though many of Obama’s opponents now seem to agree after reading the text that it’s more innocuous than indoctrinating.
During a pre-speech Q&A with students with its audio broadcast live, Obama warned a kid who asked for advice about becoming president, “I want everyone to be careful about what they post to Facebook, because in the YouTube age, it will be pulled up at some point in your life.”