Yesterday I went to sessions on policies and procedures. Today I decided to go to sessions on classroom integration ideas for technology. The ones I had selected deal with Web 2.0 resources and open source software. It was an interesting contrast, especially comparing the competing interests of yesterday’s presenters with today’s.
I arrived at the first session a little late due to a slight delay in checking out of my hotel. Kim Collaza was schedule to do a presentation on Web 2.0 resources. However, Kim was sick, and since I was late I didn’t catch the name of the person taking her place. Most of what she was showing I knew, but I did enjoy finding out about the videos of Lee LeFever, who has created an excellent series of YouTube videos explaining Web 2.0 concepts in plain English, with some entertaining animations.
During the course of the session, the presenter discussed several ways to get around filtering systems and policies imposed by the district. It was at that point that I started to take issue with what she was saying. I understand teacher’s frustrations with seemingly arbitrary rules about Internet access. I’ve also learned that teachers don’t often see the big picture, nor understand why a district imposes certain restrictions. And, I know that districts can go overboard, blocking access to resources that they have no business blocking.