Monday, January 29, 2007

Answering My Own Question

Yesterday I posted asking why should I even talk about blogs, wikis, etc. when they are blocked in so many schools and districts. I appreciate all the responses here and to me personally. Additionally I should go on to say that I had thought this through prior to planning the presentation. TCEA is one gathering where this topic really needs to be covered, since in many cases it is the technology director/department/specialist who plays a major role in deciding what should or should not be blocked. Only by continuing to speak out for professionals and students will we be able to bring about change. Speaking at librarians' conference is important, but to a degree is "preaching to the choir." With this group, maybe raising awareness will help wear down resistance to the types of sites that need to be accessible.

I want to talk a little more about this topic tomorrow but thought I would express one thought tonight. If your school/district is not allowing Web 2.0 sites, the first recourse is a technology committee. I recently wrote an article which is in this month's School Library Journal, about restrictions to web access above and beyond filters--things like limiting time on sites, being very rigid and strict about only allowing online access for assigned projects, over-blocking, forbidding use of search engines, allowing access only to sites on an approved list, and other constraints. For this article I asked listserv members who had gained improved access how that was attained. In every single instance, the respondents named technology committee membership as key. So get on the committee and if there is not one, campaign to get one started!

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