The first part of this post is actually useful. The second part is just me venting about the wrong application of time and energy that is, all too often, school filtering.
So I started using Jaiku (like Twitter but with the ability to aggregate all your feeds and a few other neat tricks).
Jaiku was blocked pretty quickly at school as a personal/dating site for some reason. I’ve stopped trying to guess the rationale behind certain things.
I’ve been using Jott. This free service that allows me to call a number, say who I want to send the message to, dictate and that person (mostly myself) gets a text email of what I said and a link to the audio file as well. I highly recommend it.)
So now I can post to a blocked site without even typing. Now if I could touch text with my phone imagine the fun I could have.
This is the kind of flexible communication that schools are trying to stop. It has always been a losing battle but more so as phones and free services take it to the next level.
I’ve heard way too many conversations lately that say something like “It allows unmoderated student communication and we’ve got to block it.” This thought process really scares and depresses me. It is both a waste of time and a great way to garner student contempt both for the rules and for those flailing around trying vainly to enforce them. This makes students far more likely to disregard relevant Internet safety advice and it pushes them towards using phones, home computers etc. where there is no filtering. On the teacher/parent side, heavy filtering tends to lead to a false sense of security, less training for students, less discussion and responsibility being shifted from students to software.
You can’t wall of the Internet, no matter the filter. You can’t stop kids from bringing and using cell phones in school. At some point it really has to be up to them. Have we prepared them to make those choices?
Photo credit – Peter Gasston