Should I have Helped?

Yesterday, I received a request for help from a student in a small Texas school district. Here is the request:

Hello Mr. Guhlin I'm a student at [removed] High School.
The other day my teacher sent me a link to your blog about the converter and how to download it for free with the license. Well when I went home to download it all went well until it asked me to register and put the code in, so i did. I have a PC or windows to be precise and copy and pasted the free license code and clicked the activate button but it kept telling me that it was the wrong code...... so I tried the Mac code but it didn't work either. I was wondering if the code is expired because I was really interested in this peace of technology.
Thanks for any help that you'd be able to give!

Unfortunately, the deal has expired that made that give-away software available. But there are other Windows OS (and possibly Mac and GNU/Linux) solutions that don't involve special deals, including the following no-cost or free, open source software:

  1. Any Video Converter
  2. Format  Factory
  3. WinFF
  4. Miro Video Converter
I took the liberty of sharing a Dropbox with the video conversion tools in them so as to facilitate access.
Throughout the whole process, I did feel a bit uncomfortable communicating with a high school student in a Texas school district (not my district), and the feeling gave me pause. Given discussions about the ethics of communicating with students--via social media, etc--I made sure to copy one of the school district's instructional technology specialists. Of course, there was no inappropriate contact, see emails below:
  • Email Response to Student: I just shared a folder with you...let me know if it works for you. In the meantime, I encourage you to try several other no cost or free, open source solutions such as....
  • Email contact with the student's District Instructional Technology Specialist: Please be aware of this email exchange with Mr. [removed], a student in [district name]. Kudos to [district name]'s students and staff for the excellent work on the Literature Magazine! The software referenced below is Giveaway software provided by the vendor.
What are your thoughts? Should Texas educators fear providing just-in-time support to youths who email them for assistance?

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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