Thursday, June 07, 2007

Quit teasin'

Today at school Flickr was unblocked - for at least two hours that I was aware of. When I realized it, my kids were naturally on the Internet, blogging, reading blogs, etc. I checked it out - yes, totally unblocked. Started showing my kids my Flickr directory - they were VERY interested. Started thinking of the promises I made my kids in November of 2005 when I told them they would have their artwork on their blogs, via Flickr. Alas, it ended up being blocked in early 2006.

Then I thought about the rest of my school. Yikes. I spent part of my lunchtime telling as many teachers as I could that Flickr was open. Yes, great news, BUT we gotta be extra careful now. We must be active again about teaching responsible use.... For now, keep an extra close eye on your kids. This is big...

(added on June 14, 2007)
I sent the following email to all staff in my building at the end of the school day:

Hi all,
I mentioned to several of you at lunchtime on Thursday that was unblocked. Long story, but I wanted everyone, especially classroom teachers, to know to be on their toes. Meanwhile, my head was spinning with the potential I’d been talking about for two years – but denied, due to the district filter blocking flickr. Anyway, by mid-afternoon Thursday, it was blocked again. I spoke to a few tech folk downtown on the phone at lunchtime, and they did not know about flickr being unblocked. Maybe word got ‘round…. Sorry for the alarm/excitement. Aargh. - Mark

Midway through the afternoon Flickr was blocked again. Maybe it was the tech guys I asked about it on the phone. They seemed surprised. Maybe the word got around... Maybe next time I should keep my mouth shut. What a great fantasy or two I had about opening doors for my kids. Shucks.


Almost American said...

Aww - come on Mark, you should know better by now than to have mentioned it to the tech department if you didn't want it blocked again!

I had a kid ask me one time why one computer in the room could access sites that were blocked on all the others . . . Turned out someone had plugged its ethernet cable into the port intended for the laser printer and that port was not filtered! He was a good kid, but because he mentioned it, the cables got switched back. (Not that anyone ever explained to him what the issue was.)

You're one of those good kids I guess - and a very good teacher to boot! It's so discouraging to see you have great ideas that you can't implement!

Mark Ahlness said...

If I had it to do over again, I would have not mentioned flickr. I was talking about something else, to tech folk not in charge of the filter, and my comment to them was, "Oh by the way, what do you know about Flickr being unblocked?" They were stumped and surprised. I wonder how long it might have stayed open had I kept quiet?

Thinking about that question bothers me in more than one way...

Cool idea about the printer port... thanks