Saturday, October 31, 2009

Blocking, Filtering, and Possibilitites

I'm frustrated with my school and my district.

My frustration with the district lies in blocked sites:
  • Twitter
  • Vimeo
  • You Tube
  • iTunes Radio
And those are just the sites that I'd like to use on a regular basis, not sites that appear on searches that have something I could use. I understand the need to block bandwidth hogging sites like Pandora and iTunes Radio. However, why can't we give access to everyone, at least teachers, for video sites and professional development sites that will help educate our children?

My frustration with my school lies in parental controls in place. There is a list of about 30 sites that students have access to. The best part is that Google search is blocked. Let me repeat that. Google search is blocked. Now, I understand that there are other search engines out there. Those should be taught. The world uses Google and students should be taught how to use Google search effectively.

The biggest problem is that any sites that teachers want students to use are blocked. Teachers have go through our tech person or our media specialist to add sites to the student accounts. So, when I tried to let students use Edmodo in my room, they couldn't. Its a perfect educational tool but it was blocked because it wasn't being used in the media class. Talk about a way to ruin a lesson plan.

Here's my biggest frustration: our school can differentiate teacher accounts and student accounts. However, at at district level, teachers and students are treated the same. That's right, our teachers have the same trust level at a district level that our students do. We can't fire students. We can fire teachers if they can't handle the ability to use Twitter and You Tube.

It can't be that hard to give different access levels to different types of people.

And this gets me to possibilities. What would my teaching look like if I was able to use Twitter, Vimeo, You Tube, iTunes Radio and other search results? Would I be a better teacher? Would I have a bigger impact on my studentss? Would my students be better writers. I might never know.

2 comments:

Dan McGuire said...

Why is Twitter not allowed for a teacher? It uses no bandwidth and automatically records everything that's posted?

Knaus said...

@sabier I was told there are issues in high schools with student abuse. We must TEACH acceptable use! Take away logins if it's abused. ARGH!