11 December 2007

Mordac Strikes Again

You might remember me writing about issues with the district Mordac(s). This has been an ongoing drama over the last couple of years, taking on various forms. In recent days, I was told that the chief Mordac was going to block my classroom wiki from being accessed at school because "wikis are unsafe for kids." (Keep in mind that this is the same man who thinks that blogs have pop-up ads which will cause young male adolescents to get erections...therefore, there should be no blog access for kids at school.) There was no explanation about what it is that is unsafe, nor will any be forthcoming. I told my principal that it was fine if he wanted to block the link. After all, the link is for kids and parents who need information outside the school day. Being able to see things from a school computer isn't necessary.

The chief Mordac has some serious control issues and does not appear to live in the same educational world as anyone else. He singlehandedly banned all games (even educational ones) from being accessed...then decided that some might be all right, but they had to be evaluated by Curriculum staff. Um, teachers have all manner of supplementary printed materials (including games) which do not have to have Curriculum approval. I can go out tomorrow and buy a book of biology crossword puzzles and no one will raise an eyebrow. But I have to document, plead, and get a brazilian signatures if these same puzzles are in a digital format.

Shouldn't the Mordacs of the educational world be promoting features of Classroom 2.0? I remember sitting in a district budget feedback session last year. Mordac and his department were in front of me---and they were shocked (!) that out of all of the comments staff were making about the need for various programs, people, and departments that not a single one addressed technology. They didn't seem to make the connection between their fiefdom and how that is viewed by everyone else...how often they stand in the way of teachers using technology with students rather than supporting it.

I thought about just deleting my classroom wiki. The fact is that I haven't updated it in some time or promoted it much. I thought now that the district uses the Microsoft version of a wiki (known as "SharePoint") that Mordac would be on board. But I see this most recent display of ignorance and arrogance on his part as a wake-up call. It's time to drag him kicking and screaming into the 21st century.


Clix said...

But I see this most recent display of ignorance and arrogance on his part as a wake-up call. It's time to drag him kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

Mordac should be afraid... very, very afraid!

The Science Goddess said...

He should. Don't mess with The Goddess.

Mind you, I heard someone else make the comment about Mordac today that he was going to shove some paperwork where the sun don't shine (he worded it a bit more, um, descriptively than that), because Mordac lost it. Again.

And then others chimed in with Mordac tales. This guy doesn't have the kind of fan club one would wish to cultivate.

Hugh O'Donnell said...

Don't target Mordac. He'll (pardon the contraction) probably never get it.

Look to his supervisor and question why that person has allowed Mordac to wreak havoc on School 2.0. Keep moving up the chain of incompet..er..command till you get results. (I wouldn't be surprised if the organizational structure showed Mordac connected directly to the supe, in which case you can skip around Boss Lady 2.0, eh?)

I want to show a grin with teeth, but can't figure out how...

Hugh aka Repairman

The Science Goddess said...

True to that. Mordac will definitely not "get it." (Although I do feel better that I'm not the only one who is irritated with him.)

Mordac is likely a mouthpiece for Boss Lady 2.0 and the other Cabinet members---including the supe).

Right now, the best we can hope for is that when he aims to take the head DIS position at the end of the year that he is rebuffed. Some people are already lobbying to be on the committee for just that reason. Ouch.

Michaele Sommerville said...

Yuck. Reminds me of the time I had a classroom observer, an early childhood ed. "specialist." Tried to tell me that no, my kindergartners didn't need play-doh and paint.

Ummm...hello? As she left to observe at another school, my grade level partner and I chimed in "Captain Clueless has left the building!" Applause from the teacher's lounge. Sigh.

Unknown said...

Um...all I can say is that I feel your pain.

Ian H. said...

Unless your Mordac has an Ed. degree, there should be no reason s/he is evaluating the educational suitability of online tools. Security (and only in the sense of viruses, phishing and whatnot) should be his/her only concern.

I'm fortunate in my district to have a former teacher as head of ed tech, but he still really isn't in a position to question my choices of materials.

As you say, no one cares what offline materials are used in a classroom (within reason), but people lose their minds when it comes to the internet.

The Science Goddess said...

Mordac did come from the classroom, but he has been given way too much power in deciding what is or isn't appropriate for the classroom. Simulations from Howard Hughes Medical Institute on biotechnology? Nope. Wikipedia? Definitely not. Flash games? Forget it.

As befitting someone with this attitude, he has just finished the requirements to be an administrator. I hope some lucky school gets him!

Ian H. said...

Sounds like someone you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy, not some poor unsuspecting school... or was that a sly dig at the real power of in-school administration?

The Science Goddess said...

Both. :)