I was at school, a public school in the US, in the computer lab. Flickr images were coming through - on blogs, websites, and wikis! YouTube and Google video were popular. MySpace was even open! You could go anywhere!!
Why? Because there were no kids in the building. It was an in-service day and I had asked for and been granted wide open access to the Internet for our school.
Access like we have at home. Just like most of our kids have at home.
The filter walls are up again by now. I'm at home, and it's Friday evening. Most of the links on the local web page I set up for the in-service session will not work on Monday - youtube, flickr, twitter, myspace. I need to assemble and post/send those links to my colleagues, asap, so they can follow up at home, on their own time.
Interesting connections were made: watching an alum of my class a few years ago on YouTube, flying on the trapeeze with a troupe in California, our music teacher's famous tap teacher giving a lesson on YouTube (with Gregory Hines in there...), me showing my wife's MySpace page as an example of how professionals are using social networking, a teacher showing colleagues what her own kids at home are looking at (and producing) on YouTube - and much, much more.
This was a small window, way too small. But it felt good to look out from where I spend the majority of my waking hours. It felt wonderful to talk with my colleagues in a real world Internet situation.
The computers could handle it. Bandwidth was no problem. We even watched parts of David Warlick's Oct 9 Fireside chat in Elluminate. That was pretty mind blowing for everyone....
- a chance to use these incredible tools with our kids.
- a chance to prove we know how to use them.
- a chance to learn like the rest of the world does.
- a chance to show we can be trusted with our kids.
Oh by the way, nobody looked at porn. Nobody played a game. Nobody cussed in a chat room.
I was watching. I was teaching.