Monday, October 29, 2007
Is your district user-friendly when it comes to downloading material from the Internet? Are you able to install software that supports your students without the need for the IT staff to make a house call? Is it possible for you to easily and seamlessly embed the use of Web 2.0 tools that promote universal design (such as Voice Thread or Wikis) as part of your instruction? No problems with blocked web sites?
If so, Rejoice for you are one fortunate educator!
For the rest of us, who "owns the airwaves" in your school?
You've seen those three dreaded words - "ADMINISTRATOR PASSWORD REQUIRED."
Those words present a unnecessary roadblock for educators which is often difficult, if not impossible to overcome. Precious time passes as a request to access a website, download a tool or install software is sent to the IT department. Then the "IT guy" has to schedule a time to complete the request. Depending upon the availability of staff, this can take as little as a day or as long as never.
Who decided that the IT staff (typically not educators) are the keepers of the knowledge ? Seems to me, it's time to remove those obstacles and reclaim the Internet. Utilize the abundant resources that engage students.
It's an incredible time to be an educator. Reclaim the Internet in your school - have a conversation with the IT staff in your building or district. Identify the roadblocks. Discuss how you can work TOGETHER to facilitate learning (isn't that why you're there?) and promote a culture of collaboration.
It is possible. Share your successes or effective strategies that worked here. We have so much to learn from each other!
Addendum: (Read here for an excellent blog post about filtering from a student's perspective. Good stuff here from Kevin Walter.)
Photo credit - http://flickr.com/photos/photojar/284190242/