Sunday, August 01, 2010

This CAN'T be what they had in mind

Today on Twitter I posted, "What do these have in common: WallWisher, Skype, Wordle, Shelfari? Give up? They're all blocked in some schools. Did you hear me scream?" Later, one person tweeted back, "Add iTunes to that list." And, we also know of districts that block Google Docs and Wikispaces and PBWorks. Not all Districts, to be sure, but that only makes it more frustrating. Heck, I heard tell of one district that decided to block Wikispaces when a student in A DIFFERENT DISTRICT misused it. Yes, that's right. Someone ELSE - someWHERE else - misused it, so we're going to block it.

Does anyone TRULY believe that the politicians who wrote and signed the CIPA laws were doing so to protect us (our students) from sites like that Wallwisher and Wordle? Were they thinking, "They've got to block wikis because someone MIGHT post a naughty picture there." Or, "You've got to block Wordle because some of the word clouds contain some naughty words." (Right - as if most of them would know what a word cloud was if it hit 'em between the eyes!) "And that Wallwisher - that's just ASKING for trouble, right there."

That simply COULD NOT have been their intention. If fixing the Education system in this country is so important then we absolutely MUST STOP THIS NONSENSE. Nationwide we've got 1/3 of our kids dropping out of school - and we're worried about WORDS in a wordle, or that the kids might use Google Docs to chat? How did all this manage to get SO screwed up and twisted? Is THIS what some schools are calling, as I keep demanding, "A World Class Education?"

This is just lunacy! There is too much at stake for this to continue. What's it going to take to start focusing on how we can best provide tools to educate our students to compete in this global marketplace/flat world? We're FAR too content worrying about standardized test scores and NOT about a world class education. Anything short of that SHOULD be totally unacceptable.

There. Did you hear me screaming?



Camille said...

Yes. Hard to believe that school leaders don't understand that by blocking access to educational tools and sites they are actually contributing to the digital inequity that limits student learning. I guess we can expect to see the digital divide continue to increase... I just read an article about Australia making the iPad a purchase for all of it's schools (which I would assume means they have broadband support). Interesting that our competition gets it....

Cathy Nelson said...

Yeah I'm screaming with you. :(

WebGalPat said...

Thanks for using my iTunes comment! It gets a bit frustrating that I can't even check my email at some of the 50 districts I help support with technology. Just glad I have my iPhone and then I pray for a decent connection.

askatechteacher said...

Don't even get me started. My principal last year refused to allow me to use wikis, blogs or tweet to parents (only parents) what I did in each class and turned my class into a keyboarding lab. Thanks to that, I've spawned a generation of students who hate technology. I would too if all it was, was typing.


Jim Gates said...

Oh my. And all the because of the fear of the technology or because of a philosophy about the curriculum. Of course I know the answer, which makes it SUCH a hard pill to swallow. What state?

Jim Gates said...

@askatechteacher - Never mind. I see what state you're in - besides your state of frustration.

Isn't it something that intelligent people can look at a problem and completely ignore their responsibility to address it? Instead, they run from it. Very sad.

Surely there HAS to be another reason involved.