Monday, March 27, 2006

Blocking Flickr - can't get past it

Having a terrible time dealing with having Flickr blocked in my school. Blogs using it look awful, and there are quite a few (!) - including my own classroom blog. All this energy into getting set up there, getting proficient at it, installing uploading tools, upgrading to "pro", etc, etc, etc - and for what? It's nothing my kids will ever see. Promises I've made that I now have to break and explain with...?

Happened about a month ago. No warning. A teacher complained, and now all of flickr is blocked in my school district. Decision made by technical staff, not educators. No discussion. The end.

I have protested, sent emails. Nothing. It's a done deal. Paranoia is so much easier than common sense. It requires so many less brain cells...

Those who preach the gospel of web 2.0 and wonder why teachers are not embracing it enthusiastically need a serious reality check.

Of course, MySpace.com has been blocked for some time, and all blogger.com domain sites have been blocked since the first of the year.

Just waiting for the next big block....

7 comments:

Glenn E. Malone said...

What does your principal think? Other adminstrators outside of the tech department?


I started with blogging & wikis and I'm adding flickr with our administrators first, once they see the value it'll be harder to block.

I feel your pain!

Ewan McIntosh said...

It does come down to showing the benefits outweighing the possible problems. But it also requires a uniform approach to educating all children in what to do and feel if they do come across content they don't want to see. It's gonna happen outside school (is happening?) so we'd all be better off looking at how to cope with this real problem, rather than denying its existence.

Mark Ahlness said...

Glenn,
I do not know what other principals or admins think. They do not set policy on this, and I doubt they have any influence. Now that the door is closed, it's going to be real hard to get it open.

Ewan,
Yes, I wish folk would look at other alternatives before shutting the door. We lose an opportunity to teach when we deny the existence of the "problem".

Anonymous said...

does any one know how to get past the freaking School firewall?
we shouldn't be blocked from websites that we get on at home or a friends house anyway!!
it is BS!!

Anonymous said...

vtunnel ctunnel dtunnel or btunnel.com try em'!

Anonymous said...

Or, you know, you could just get some IT guys that know what they're doing and have the faculty in a separate vlan from the students. Or use logon-based authentication so that the filter changes depending on the logon/vlan. Sounds like a lazy IT team.

Shade said...

Well they're doing it at colleges as well.
Which is kinda funny, because myspace and a lot of other stuff isn't blocked here.
Neither is photobucket.
But Flickr is. So I can't see some of the tons of photos that are stored on it. Meaning, despite the fact that I have an account there, there's no way for me to view photos from there....
I think this is the dumbest thing they could do to a college campus. Why don't they just block Facebook then!