“They are afraid and so it is easier to block access to any area that might cause a problem than to investigate and fight for solutions that are workable. It is easier to hide behind the Great American Education Firewall.”
Heather Davis, teacher in China
LET FREEDOM RING?
Guest Post by Teacher, Heather Davis
With permission, I am posting this blog post from an email that I received from teacher in China, Heather Davis. She has given me full permission to post this here and list her full name. Yes, that makes me nervous (China has been cracking down on many bloggers) but I will respect her desire to speak a message to the heart of all teachers – especially those here in America.
This isn't about filtration. Keeping pornography out of school is required by our laws. This is about OVERFILTRATION and a lack of ability to request URLs to be unblocked. Is there a procedure that teachers can use to get sites unblocked efficiently that is approved by CURRICULUM. The sites we use should pretty much be driven by CURRICULUM – not IT .
Do we care about the recent US study that actually showed that the two biggest obstacles to the integration of emerging technology are filtration and the ban on cell phones? I was discussing with my friend Stephen Windwalker (Kindle Nation Daily) and he said something that stuck with me –
“Most kids will be making their living creating web content, not writing novels.”
We've got work to do and need to roll up our sleeves and start using some plain old common sense to make up for the shortfall in our pocketbooks. We can't have everything but we can have something. And we can do many things with the free things we can use in our schools – it is just a matter of typing the URL into the whitelist feature of our firewall – and as someone who does this every day – it isn't such a big deal.
Here's to you, Heather – you are truly an inspiration to me and represent everything good in a teacher and leader. I have taken the liberty to put a few things I think are very important in red. Keep up the great work.
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
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