Saturday, May 03, 2008

[TIPS] Is YOUR school irrelevant to your student's futures?

Once again, Dr Scott McLeod has a post that I think should be read by every School District administrator. At the very least it is EXCELLENT food for thought. Here it is: http://www.dangerouslyirrelevant.org/2008/05/blocking-the-fu.html. In it he points to this article: http://snipurl.com/blockingthefuture (Now I know that many of you won't be able to use that link as it's a snipurl link and someone has decided to block that, so you'll have to read this at home.)

Now, here's the thing. This is an excellent article, and it's especially important to those districts that block blogs because, "We don't allow blogs in our school." You need, then, to access this post from home. And when you're done reading the post, ask yourself where your district falls with this statement: "[S]chool district leaders have a critical choice to make: Will their schools pro-actively model and teach the safe and appropriate use of these digital tools or will they reactively block them out and leave students and families to fend for themselves?"

If your district blocks wikis - for whatever excuse you want to stand on, then it's clear where your district falls with this question. If you had to read this post from home, then it's clear where your district stands. If Wikipedia is blocked, then it's clear where you stand. If your teachers don't have a key to the firewall, then it's clear where your district stands. Then the question becomes, "Who made those decisions? Were they made by the Curriculum Director as a philosophy of curriculum, or by someone else?"

As I've said before, we REALLY don't have time any more for that kind of philosophy. There is FAR too much at stake. PLEASE read Scott's blog post and the article he points to and begin to ask the questions and make the decisions. Time is NO LONGER on our side.

3 comments:

Scott McLeod said...

Jim, thanks so much for spreading the word about the article. I hope it serves as a useful resource for reflection on what schools are really trying to do with this stuff. Why get it if we can't use it?

I also appreciate your passion. Keep it up!

Ken Rodoff said...

My school just started blocking Blogger blogs.

It seems that the entire district losing the right to use Blogger when one kid, in one classroom, "managed" by one teacher, found a black-on-black hardcore porn site and then, somehow, this one kid, in this one classroom, "managed" by this one teacher, printed out 54 pages of black-on-black hardcore porn.

Your blog, my blog, all Blogger blogs are now blocked.

Does this qualify as knee-jerk? Or just jerk?

Jim Gates said...

Very sad, indeed. SOrry to hear that.

SURELY there is a way to block that one blog without blocking the entire domain, don't you think?

Schools run scared, no doubt about it. But, there has GOT to be a better way of dealing with it.