“To filter, or not to filter. That is THE big question”.
Our local authorities are the ones who need to be provoked into thinking. There is so much inconsistency in policies and practice.
The aspect of training children, and students, effectively is intensely important. We filter so heavily, in some places, that they are given such a false sense of security; it is no wonder they stumble across undesirable content, when they go home, and are searching in an unprotected environment.
The internet is a vast resource; a wonderful wilderness of opportunities. There are some dark, unsavoury corners that we need protect our children from, through careful advice as much as monitoring. The web is exactly that, and there are some less than lovely spiders within it.
YouTube is blocked in a large number of educational contexts. However, it is a HUGE resource, and the biggest Aladdin’s Cave of valuable learning material ~ How to-s, thought provoking films, an archive of rich value.
One of the biggest reasons (offered) for blocking YouTube, is the comments that are logged in reaction to a lot of films. These can sometimes be written by people with a limited grasp of acceptable English or a desire to shock.
This is a wonderful time to be alive. The internet offers very powerful tools for research, collaboration and interaction. If we, as teachers, come across sites that are truly innocuous, and harmless, but enhance good teaching, we shouldn’t sit there and complain without taking action.
There are the possibilities of unblocking such sites, on an authority level perhaps. We have a professional right, and, in fact, duty to contact the people who administer our networks, and alert them to the fact that something useful is being restricted by the , understandable, blanket filters.
There has to be some consistency, and adaptability, but that depends on us being proactive. Open, as much as possible, but in a thought through fashion.
In our travels around the country, we are always amazed by how varied access is. We’re also startled by what people are denied access to, and why: In a lot of authorities, though not all, Noughts and Crosses is blocked! Why? Because it is “A Game”. Badness incarnate, surely!
Even the BBC site CBBC games is blocked in some authorities.
When we try to upload content to the blog, our ftp site is, sometimes, though again not always, blocked. This seems illogical. We need a password and detailed technical knowledge to enter it. We are uploading content not downloading some kind of strange unknown elements that might digitally corrupt a school computer network.
The ThinkUKnow sites offer some really valuable activities and resources when exploring internet safety. Visit the 5-7 site, 8-10 website , parent pages, and resources for teachers. Look back through this blog for others.
There are many remarkable, and powerful, resources out there.
We need to think. We need to act. Filtering can feel like action.
Is it making us complacent in terms of our responsibilities to children?
NEWSPAPER MAKER enables the creation of convincing eye-catching headlines and articles.
The image chef generator (used to the right) creates a quick headline on The Examiner
“Back to the … …” With a news theme this week, it might be timely to mention the quirky site that is News of the Future.
Who needs a Delorean time machine when you can link to future news? Oil at $180 a barrel, Talking search engines, First Marathon Under Two Hours, and Euro Banknotes Invalid by Friday It raises some fascinating questions, like Can Paralyzed People Walk in the Future? Even some of the advert banners are mock ups of future possibilities: “Beam Yourself Around the World with Telebeamer!” There are also some more serious sides to the site. An example: a section on AIDS offers some sobering thoughts.
The way the site looks back at “past events” from these days, offers a good insight into how reporting can present or misrepresent “facts” too. In the words of Marty McFly: “Well, history is gonna change”
Who knows what might happen, but “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything”.
These ‘news words’ are accepted by audiences for their implied meaning. But often loaded words are misused or used out of context. The actual definitions can be different than what is implied.
Newswordy is a growing collection of these words*, updated every weekday. Along with each word is a definition, a quote with its use (or misuse) in the media, and a news and Twitter feed on the subject.
*Click the tiny graphic, in the top right-hand corner, to find an archive of past words.
Another, joyous, gathering of Baldylocks and the Three Hairs. Together with Pie Corbett, and David Mitchell, we shared a day entitled Tools to tell a tale – Improving reading and writing through ICT at The Macdonald Burlington Hotel, Birmingham
Tools to Tells a Tale, is an intriguing experience, bringing together the three bald blokes, for an exploration of story telling, on a global scale. Folks were part of an evolving story, alongside children from around the world, investigating a wondrous collection of digital, and analog, gems for bringing learning alive.
“Join us, as we travel across dangerous terrain, through swamp-infested landscapes, and to the top of crumbling towers, all through the power of inventive technologies”.
Another fascinating news explorer is Newsmap, which is an application that visually demonstrates the constantly changing landscape of the “Google News” aggregator. Another fascinating, and discussion provoking, tool.
The more frequently a story is reported in the news, the larger it becomes in the “map”.
It is also possible to compare different countries, and to see which elements are given more coverage in those countries. You can view the map by region, topic, or time.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it (tomorrow)!
10×10™ (‘ten by ten’) is an interactive exploration of “the words and pictures that define the moment”. It is also possible to look back, in great detail, for the last ten years!
Every hour, 10×10 collects the 100 words and pictures that matter most on a global scale. Each hour is presented as part of a window, composed of 100 different frames. Each one allows us to peer a bit deeper into the story. Because of the nature of the world, and world news, some of these stories can be challenging, and even disturbing, of course.
10×10 runs with no human intervention, autonomously observing what a handful of leading international news sources are saying and showing. 10×10 makes no comment on news media bias, or lack thereof. It simply shows what it finds.
A Super-fast, fully interactive and immersive 3D way to discover some fascinating aspects of the capital.
Recce features built-in GPS and Compass functionality to locate yourself, quickly, but it is available both on-line and off-line, with rich and relevant information.
Take a quick tour and explore London’s finest landmarks, from the classics such as Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace & Big Ben to the modern additions such as The Shard, Gherkin, and Olympic Park. Explore areas known & unknown with fresh eyes.
Recce could be useful when planning, or taking part in, a trip to “the smoke”, or if studying a contrasting landscape. An intriguing experience of a different form of mapping. Fascinating.
The History Today dictionary is a compendium of facts, figures, mini-biographies and definitions of historical terms. It covers people, places, & key events. Each entry is concise and expertly written, and the dictionary is ideal as a study tool or to improve your knowledge of history. Search those intriguing terms.
A great day, alongside 130 delegates, from primary schools, one secondary school and four special schools, from across Hampshire.
Today, we explored the range of technology, and approaches to using it, that are essential across the curriculum. Sue Savory, ICT Adviser, for sharing her thoughts below: Continue Reading