I worked two of my three day weekend designing a wiki-quest for students to research election issues. I arrived at school to a new firewall filter and NONE of our wikis, blogs, lesson plans, or links work — all blocked by a new firewall, including Weekly Reader and Brain Bop! All the science teacher’s daily links are blocked.
I try so hard as the curriculum designer incorporating technology into my classroom to help students meet 21st Century standards; the Technology Department tries so hard to keep everything safe and up-to-date in the lab. The technicians come from outside the district to update the lab and server. I hope the technicians can work together with the teachers who use technology in the classroom so these glitches don’t occur.
What do other teachers or districts do?
So frustrating to have this filter on legitimate knowledge. It is an ongoing discussion:
“Rather than fighting to stay a step ahead of tech-savvy pupils, the district emphasizes online safety and digital citizenship.
‘We spend a lot of time educating students about what’s good and bad information,’ he adds. ‘We ask questions about the sites students are accessing.’ Students understand that they’ll face sanctions if they engage in inappropriate conduct online, Canuel says. Five years of research show benefits across the board, he adds, citing stronger academic results, a lower dropout rate, and improved attendance.” ~ Read more at Edutopia, by Susie Bass –11/5/2008.
My students refer constantly to our Rules of Etiquette. We are learning to become digital citizens, responsibly, respectfully, ethically.
NOTE: After email and phone calls, we have our sites back! Thanks to quick support by our contracted technicians, who acted quickly upon knowledge of our dilema.