Just when I thought I was really rolling with my technology integration plan, I ran into a road block. The school system blocked some of my sites. That is right. They blocked Goanimate and flickr.com! Goanimate was blocked due to “adult content.” Seriously? I wrote the site administrator, asked my principal to call, and had the computer tech call too. After a week the site is still blocked!
This site was made for educators and classrooms. Another similar site Xtranormal was not blocked. I had looked into using that site before choosing Goanimate but decided against it because many more types of people were using it, and there were some more adult type content. Who decides these things?
Since the system has blocked all users (including teachers) to download any type of web content (including an update to adobe….but that would be another blog topic), I have been importing pictures students are taking onto their computers using a flash drive. I decided to use flickr as an easier way for students to get their own content. I created a classroom site and set it to private. And yes, the system has blocked flickr because it is a “computer system.”
Integrating technology has been challenging enough without the added worry of some abstract way of blocking content for my class. The key is educating students on Internet safety. I am ready to go downtown to the “big dogs” and have a discussion before this next school year begins. My class and I have been working very hard these last few months, learning together as a team. They know that they are helping me decide what works and what needs to be changed to make my third grade class more successful with technology next year. We need our school administrators to be on the same team too.