I have said this before on another post and actually was slammed because I said I understood it might cost. Sorry, I don't have the skill, the knowledge, or the time to create what I'm about to talk about. Wes Fryer mentioned it on his blog recently. And after today's training, I just don't see how we're going to get around it.
Currently I am doing a workshop on Integration of netTrekker with other tools and in the classroom. We were going to use PBWiki, but it's blocked. We can get to WikiSpaces though. Hmmm. We can't get to Twitter or Email or Gaggle.net, but I can get to my blog here on Blogspot. It just blocks out the toolbar up top. I couldn't get to Bubble-Share or SlideShare. We were suppose to do a Google Trek - but the teachers won't have access to Google Earth. Going to change the lesson using Google Maps instead. They loved ToonDoo, and they created some cute toons (here's mine), but they also found some disturbing toons - one specifically relating to the Virginia Tech Shooting. I couldn't even get to my website because it's uploaded to my .Mac account.
I truly understand the reason for filters and for being blocked. I don't blame the schools one bit. We need to educate the students and yet, we still need to protect them. Yes - we need to teach the ethical use of the tools and encourage them to only do what they are suppose to do, but come'on! They are kids and they are going to test the limit and see what they can get away with.
Instead, we need a playground of Web2.0 tools that students can share photos from class field trips of historic or scientific sites, blog about the latest book they read or about their current event (which makes more sense than cutting out an article and bringing it to class), post their videos that they created about any given educational topic, collaborate with others, create and share and not worry about WHY it's being filtered from the system. If we had something in place - maybe with ads that were geared towards the textbooks or other popular sites to support it or as a paid subscription, then I think it will work. I want a safe alternative that a school can use without fear of what might pop up. I want teachers to be able to teach and not to add another item to their juggling act. Yeah, some of you might be able to use these tools- but you're probably one of the fortunate ones who have leaders with an understanding of technology integration/use and somehow are just ahead of the game of everyone else.
So I decided this week while I'm in Texas and when I get back to Florida, I'm going to play the lottery. I don't usually - but I'm going to. And if I win - I want to hire educators who are really good at technology use and integration to help design this playground for the students of web 2.0 (and just creative) tools. I'll fund it - you build it. Deal?
Now what numbers should I play?