PargoNet

Reflections on Instructional Technology and Media

Web Filters – A Poem April 10, 2008

We have a web filter
We are compliant with CIPA
We do not block applications
Needed by our teachers
To teach students
In the 21st century

Our filter blocks categories
Determined by a committee
Of teachers
And technology specialists
And media specialists
And district leaders

We block sites
To protect our children
Not to block instruction
When a teacher needs access
To a site that is blocked
We Unblock it

Requests to unblock sites
Are sent to an instructional leader
Not a technology hardware manager
Who is not grounded in
Instruction
But is more concerned about
The network

We allow web 2.0 apps
Like blogs
And wikis
And podcasts
And video streaming
And social networks
And social bookmarks
And anything that will prepare
Our students to learn
In the 21st Century

We believe that a web filter should
Allow for creative learning
Not restrict it
We understand that students
Will sometimes encounter

Sites that are not appropriate
I would rather have students encounter
A small number of questionable sites
If that means they have access
To the tools they need to learn
Rather than having inadequate access to learning tools
In order to never encounter risky sites

I believe that students
Need to be taught
How to navigate the web
And all of its glory
And all of its dangers
If they are never exposed
How will they learn to be
Digital citizens

I am sad that there are students
In our state
In our country
Who cannot collaborate
With other students beyond their classroom
Because their school leaders
And district leaders
And teachers
And parents
Are scared

We have a web filter
We are compliant with CIPA
We do not block applications
Needed by our teachers
To teach students
In the 21st century

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The Parody Mashup February 13, 2008

The rise of YouTube has given a new stage to politicians and the corporate sector. They can run their ads for free and rely on the viral video craze to disseminate their message. There have been some very creative and thought provoking videos produced for this purpose, but from this has arisen a secondary phenomenon – the parody of those videos. See below for a couple examples of the original video and the parody.

will.i.am video for Barack Obama’s campaign:

Parody by john.he.is using John McCain’s campaign

Dove’s Evolution of Beauty

Parody – The Evolution of the Slob

I see tremendous potential for the eduverse. What if students used the content from their classes and mashed it with the style of a popular viral video and re-posted their work? Talk about engaging. If you have already seen some exampls of this being done in education, leave me a comment.