Wednesday, December 12, 2007

[TIPS] What students CAN do if given the opportunity - a rant

This is so frustrating. On the one hand, I met with some teachers today who expressed sincere frustration because their ... person in charge of making this kind of decision ... has diabled the right-click on all of the computers in the school. I can't even BEGIN to get my mind around such an outrageous plan. And I'll bet that whoever is making that decision is also bragging about the kinds of computers they have in school. "Yes, we only buy HP's with two gig of ram and we upgrade to all the latest Microsoft products the minute they hit the streets." FOR WHAT? ARRRRGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

OUTRAGEOUS!! And somehow the administration and the Curriculum Directors stand by and let it happen. Who is supporting whom? Isn't the network supposed to support the curriculum? Not there. The curriculum must be rewritten to allow for the crippled computers.

And THEN I come home and read this: Just look at all the things her students are doing. Listen to her talk with such pride at how they have taken responsibility for their education and are making things happen, using the tools that are available on the web.

I'd like to ask those who disable the right clicks on the computers and who block all blogs and all wikis to read that story and tell me why it can't be done in your district. Ten to one it can't be done because it isn't convenient.

Folks... those of you who are in the way... we don't have time for this nonsense any more. Are you not paying attention to what's going on in the world? Have you not heard that today's kids must have some SERIOUSLY competetive skills to compete in this global marketplace? Do you EVER pick your head out of  the sand to look around at the world? GET OUT OF THE WAY!!! We don't have TIME for this! And Superintendents and Curriculum Directors.... we don't have time any longer for you to stand back and allow this to happen. You MUST insist that your students have the tools they'll need to compete in this world, and if that person won't make it happen, then find one who WILL! Have you not seen Shift Happens? ( Oh wait... sorry.. this links to a YouTube video, and while it may be possible in your district for you and the teachers to see it without giving students access, that may not be allowed either.

One more time - We don't have time for this any longer. There is too much at stake.

Once again, I guess YOUR students will just have to wait until they get OUT of school to get their education.



Danielle Abernethy said...

I for one appreciate your rant. My old district was very controlling like this. We could not right click and half the items that we needed were blocked. The reason for no right clicking? So they couldn't change the wallpaper or download files/images. They were control freaks.

stacie said...

What IS the reason behind no right clicking? There are some students (and teachers) who would be LOST without the right click, especially if they have limited sight abilities.

Hopefully, Jim, those that block WILL get out of the way if enough educators, students, and parents plow through them and continue to move forward.

Keep your chin up, I have a hunch there are a handful of students in your district who know ways around all of the blocks. (I hate to say it, but there is a little part of me that always smiles when they find those illegal loopholes.)

Farfisa said...

Our old tech director was like this. I used to do things in the Mac lab to get around his wacky restrictions and students would watch me (of course, I was not *showing*them!)Our current tech director gives us plenty of rope with which to hang ourselves ;-)

We had no Google images (you might search on cantaloupes and get something undesirable), no Dep't of Transportation (I don't know what was dangerous about that one, we were graphing traffic fines for speeding).

TheWatchman said...

I'm not one to defend the Napoleonic complex that many IT Directors develop, however there does need to be some understanding as to the amount of cost and work that goes into maintaining an educational network. When the call comes in that it "doesn't work" the rapid solution of the problem is always complicated by not knowing what has been done to that machine.

Keep that in consideration, work with your IT staffs, question their reasoning, and provide concrete, well thought out reasons for them to change their ways. You might be surprised.