Saturday, January 12, 2008

Random Thoughts/Rants on a Saturday Morning

One reason that my blog is much easier to produce at home is the unfettered access I have to all of the creative tools on the Internet.

Case in point.

I was preparing this week for a Literature/Reading Circle workshop that I and a colleague are giving after school in a couple of weeks and I wanted to update the cover of the resource binder that we are providing to the participants. I wanted to get some new images - ones of kids reading, reflecting diversity, reading in groups, etc. To put this into context, I have just spent 2 weeks of playing with several Creative Commons (CC) image sites, and without thinking, I tried to do the same thing at work. Dumb! I forgot about the filters! Ok, I know that Google Images have been blocked for some time, but when you are in the flow of creativity, you tend to be so focused on what you are doing that you forget about stuff like filters. Well Flickr is blocked. Big surprise? Well it was to me because I forgot where I was working. A lot of other image share sites licensed under CC are blocked as well. I tried several of the image sites that are listed on a CC wiki pathfinder developed by my hero JV - but to no avail.

Yes I know, go to the databases and to the Media link on the Student Reference Portal - I did that but could not find what I wanted within the time I wanted to spend. Don't get me wrong - I love our databases. And if I am doing serious research I go to them first. But sometimes a database is not the right resource for information needs.

I just read an article about 21st Century Literacy that said that kids are on the Internet 27 hours per week at home and 15 minute a week at school ( this was a US statistic and it is an average). So who is teaching these kids at home about Internet safety and responsible, ethical use of resources?

Random comment by a teacher regarding school filters - "The kids just get around them anyway." Hmm? Thoughts on this one? Is this the norm?

Forest of Reading blogs are sprouting up all over! Just got an email that four elementary school TLs are setting up blogs for Silver Birch and Red Maple. So exciting!

BTW, here's a picture that won't be on any database!

Photo: jonno259. (21 August 2007). Teddy Bears' Reading Group. 12 January 2008.


Ms C said...

While I understand the need for some form of filter in a school setting, there is a point where it is just too much and valuable resources are out of the reach of both students and teachers. Case in point: I wanted to show students commercial samples from YouTube as a part of a media unit but naturally, this site is blocked. Luckily, I was able to download the commercials I wanted from another website onto my computer for my demonstration BUT how much easier would it have been if I could have just used YouTube?

Teachers should be monitoring students' computer use whenever they book a lab via something like LanSchools(and not marking while the students work). We also have a duty to teach students responsible surfing...if there are filters in place, blocking every questionable site, how can the students learn to "filter" for themselves?

It's one of my pet peeves too. I'm with you in this rant.

Sharon Seslija said...

Very frustrating and We Are NOT ALONE!