Do Ostriches really bury their heads in the sand when frightened? According to “Phrase Finder” this is a myth. Ostriches basically when frightened lay down and flatten their heads along the ground, so as to disguise themselves from possible predators. But this reminds me very much of how our schools and IT deal with content they block at school.
I really, really, really try NOT to write about filters and blocked content so much. After all, I am a mother of one teen-aged son, and one young adult son in college. Living w/ guys you kind of know what their world revolves around, and how easy it is to be sidetracked by less than academic content, especially online.
But it is infuriating to know that I cannot access the Nings set up at school, even though many of my PLN resides there. I must wait until I get home to actually partake of the plentiful servings of rich content and collaborative opportunities that are there! Why are they blocked? They are classified as a blog, a social network, and a forum. I am getting ready to participate in a collaborative project, and yes, I want TOTAL access 24-7. I don’t want to wait until I get home from school. This opportunity could actually lead to GLOBAL projects for classes at my school, and egads, yes, during the school day! I belong to several nings, including Classroom 2.0, TeacherLibrarian, and most recently Powerful Learning Practice for Teachers and Students. These are NOT risqué, profane-laced sites, but rather places where I can learn more, and pass the learning on to students and teachers, even at my own school. If there was ever a place to see authentic 21st century learning, the Nings I am a member of are it. And best, its members are ready to open their arms and welcome all, and can answer JUST ABOUT any question.
This has been nagging me for some time, but it has become really frothy and ready to fizz right over. You see I tried to network w/ another friend, and low and behold she wasn’t getting any of my emails b/c her email filters out all incoming mail from gmail. Now what’s with that? I know many of the EXPERTS in the field use GMail as their primary email for professional contacts. Is this district making the implied statement that only pedophiles, rapists, child-killers, and prostitutes use gmail? What about parents who use email and want to contact their child’s teacher?
Well, very soon I will be participating in a learning/leading excursion and will be charged with leading a group of newbies into the fray we know as web 2.0. Our main portal will be a Ning (called Powerful Learning Practice for teachers and students,) and my goal is to hopefully generate some collaborative projects for my school and students, and therefore we will need that portal (Ning) open. Yes folks, its time to approach IT about loosening this clamp on Nings. All blogs, nings, wikis, and social networks are not bad for kids.
Let us be the professional and offer guidance into sites where we can teach our students to evaluate situations and circumstances and exhibit making good choices–what an authentic teaching scenario—instead of sticking our heads in the sand, like the fabled ostrich.