Part of me is laughing, part of me is steaming mad. I recently posted a call for educators in Second Life to visit ISTE Island there and vote for a blog to be featured at the Blogger's Hut, which I manage for ISTE. A fellow ISTE docent, Sabian Hawks, (Fil Santiago "irl"--"in real life) emailed me from his school in Los Angeles to inform me...well...let's let his email speak:
I received your e-mail regarding the podcast voting and proceeded to click on your Web site. A strange thing happened: our filtration system blocked it and categorized it as ‘pornography’ - strange - thought you might want to check this out, as others may not be able to visit your site from work. (SL--Sabian Hawks)
My response to him:
Hey, Fil (SABE!),
I'm not surprised that you couldn't see my site. Sigh. many schools and content blockers disallow blogger and blogspot sites, since there is indeed some objectionable material there. I'm firmly in the camp of Wes Fryer about content filters. How are teachers to begin to learn to take advantage of the powerful networking tools of our age when they have their options limited by paranoid beaurocrats? I hope you'll take the time to visit the site from home if you can.
Thanks for the heads-up. Would you mind my quoting your message in a blog post?
Is there any hope for our public schools? I always prefer to hope, but I most seriously hope that our leaders pull their heads up out of their...addiction to 18th century learning models and open up things before it's too late. Clear expectations in the form of rigorously enforced Acceptable Use policies--for students AND faculty AND adminstration--are all that would be needed to step into the 21st century.
Check out Jamie McKenzie's take today on "Breaking the YouTube Blockade" to allow teachers to use some of the very valuable resources YouTube can provide.