29 August 2005

The Game is Afoot!

Regular readers here know that I have been contemplating using a blog for my class this year. I did choose a platform and get one set up. However, I was told earlier today that the district does not allow blogs and so my case is moving up through the channels. It has one more hurdle to clear, but at this point things are looking very good for me. Our tech people have said that they don't have anything else they could offer me which would allow for the kind of collaboration that I would like to achieve with this project. So I may get to have the only blog allowed through by our "Big Brother" software.

This is an exciting idea. I do feel a bit pioneer-ish. But I also feel a bit more motivated to ensure some sort of success with this tool---as I imagine I will be watched very closely. I'd like to think that other teachers might be able to use this, too, in the future.

Keep your fingers crossed for us.


Anonymous said...

Why don't they allow blogs? Is there a written policy? I'm interested in looking at policies that ban this stuff -- my hunch is that very few are actually written down.

The Science Goddess said...

As far as I know, there is no written policy. In fact, when I asked our building tech person last spring if blogs were okay, she said they were...but now, they aren't.

For my district, it's really a matter of the Big Brother software. In order to attempt to keep out the porn, the filter doesn't allow any addresses from blog servers through. I'm guessing there is also an issue about what kids (or staff) might post on a personal blog during school time---but that is really a matter of setting some standards and enforcing them.

I was told yesterday that if the tech people can assure themselves that once kids are on our class blog that they can't get to any other blog addresses...I can have the blog accessible from school.

Even if they don't, I'm still going forward with it. It just means we can't use it at school.

I already know of one other teacher who wants to use a blog with their class...so the techs had better get something figured out. The requests are only going to increase from here.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that most filtering software is passive -- it's told what to block. Your techs should be able to let the servers that you want to use for blogging through to your students.

The Science Goddess said...

They can...but what they don't know is whether or not they can let through just one ".blogspot.com" address.

We have a blocking software that advertises itself as "content filtering on steroids." (www.lightspeedsystems.com) And it is, adding ~500,000/month to what it blocks. Most teachers have a terrible time trying to get to legit research sites like the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

It's overprotective, I think.

Anonymous said...

Filtering is overly used -- I think because it's entirely too easy to use and to block. And if you publicly say that you're against filters, suddenly you're labeled as being against the safety of kids.
I hope that you find success.