Please head on over to Mrs. Bluebird's place and check out this week's Carnival of Education. It is truly an oasis of thought and reason in an insane world.
Don't look for the voice of reason in this district. I'm trying to prep my tenth graders to work with my kindergartners next week. I wanted to use GoogleDocs to coordinate my different class periods---and allow them to communicate with the teachers in the other district. As feared, however, the district techs believe that GoogleDocs is a filthy site, not worthy of passing through our filters. We can't have children actually collaborating on a project, now can we? (Never mind that the kindergartners can access GoogleDocs in the other district if they wanted to.) Why, we would surely be leading kids into a lifetime of internet debauchery if we allowed them to create and share a lesson plan on tidepools or otherwise learn about these collaborative tools. Shame on me.
I am exaggerating, but only slightly. The interesting thing is that only "docs" are blocked by the filter---not the other social tools in Google. Now that my kids have accounts (a story unto itself), I could actually share this post with them using Reader, along with comments about why I was sending it. We could build a common calendar for the remainder of the school year. And more. But we can't use the word processing feature because one person in this school district doesn't want us to do so. Perfectly reasonable, right?