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Well said. Many of the issues for blocking or unblocking sites in my district stem from administrative decisions to block some sites/categories for teachers and others for students (not my choice). What fits in a particular category is usually the issue. I cannot always guess what the filter vendor has determined a site to be. > From: Jeffrey L. Jones <email@example.com> > > Larry: > Takes you back, doesn't it? > You've written a great piece here. And, although I can't say I've > really been following all of the tit for tat in this thread, I basically > agree, philosophically, with yours and Nancy's underlying opinion here. > But I can't say I'm quite as passionate as Nancy is for how this all plays > out in the schools. After 20 years of Internet use in instruction (12 of > those in a teacher support role), I think I can safely say that, as > important as this topic might be at the policy level, at the classroom > level, it's a tempest in a teapot. > How bad does filtering really hurt instruction? Quite frankly, not > very much. Nancy gets angry about the possibility of a teacher developing > a lesson plan at home, and having it hamstrung at work. That happens so > rarely in reality that, despite my overall philosophy on this, it's very > hard for me to get bent about it. There are several flaws in that battle: > > 1) Teachers don't really work completely in isolation like that > anymore...they know that there's a difference between how things work at > home, and how they work at school. Those who don't have bigger problems > than those generated by a blocked resource. > 2) There is nothing so unique about a single Internet resource that > its presence or absence will make or break an assignment. If there IS > something that unique, then it's probably not blocked, or unblocking it > will be non-controversial. And, as others have pointed out, the number of > quality and useful sites drops precipitously the younger the student is, > making the entire battle completely moot at the elementary (and perhaps > middle school) level. > > But the most important reason why Internet filtering figures so > small in the classroom is that, in fact, the open Internet is really a > lousy teacher -- it's terribly slanted towards the bottom of Bloom's > taxonomy, and, even at that level, is buried in misleading and misdirected > information. We do have a responsibility to TEACH Internet use, but for > the bulk of core content, Kids don't really learn from exploring the > Internet, they learn from taking information they find there and elsewhere > and doing knowledge construction tasks and projects. The latter requires > the support of student-teacher and student-student interactivity, with > appropriate tasks which exploit that. That's the real work of a > face-to-face classroom, and, online, points to a learning management > system or other interactive platform. In our district, we handle that > internally (with Moodle), wiping out the "Open Web 2.0" battle as well. > There are lots of discussions which would have brought those old > LISTSERV discussion behaviors Larry mentions out of me. This isn't one of > them. As the politicians and Nancys and other policy-players fight their > battles, the teachers I support go about the business of instruction, only > occasionally mildly miffed that a handful of Internet sites that might be > useful are blocked. Like many districts, in ours, un-block requests are > handled quickly and without much fanfare, the teacher recommendation being > usually enough to get it done. But my responsibilities towards teachers > now are in constructing interactive activities online using a small, > select number of open Internet resources to support them. Our district's > current level of blocking does not provide a kibble's worth of problems in > that pursuit. > Jeff > > Jeffrey L. Jones, District Technology Resource Teacher > Coordinator, Virtual Classrooms and Communications, Fayette County Schools > Fayette's iSchool - http://ischool.fcps.net/ > The Point, a Fayette County Blogspot - https://edtech.fcps.net/blog/ > 701 East Main Street > Lexington, KY 40502 > (859)381-4124 > firstname.lastname@example.org > "You know," said Arthur, "it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a > Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation > in deep space, that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me > when I was young." > "Why, what did she tell you?" > "I don't know, I didn't listen." > - Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) --- Edtech Archives, posting guidelines and other information are at: http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~edweb Please include your name, email address, and school or professional affiliation in each posting. To unsubscribe send the following command to: LISTSERV@H-NET.MSU.EDU SIGNOFF EDTECH