Sunday, November 19, 2006

Solving Problems of access

On Friday I got to school and went through the usual routine of setting up my laptop and logging on, connecting to my Pageflakes page and decided that I would quickly blog some thinking that I had done on my way to work that morning. But to my surprise I discovered that my login access to blogger was blocked.
After trying a few problem solving strategies and loath to spend too much time on it I resorted to phoning a couple of contacts at the Victorian Education Department to see if I could get to the bottom of the problem.
Long story short- I finally caught up with Sandy Phillips Manager of the Victorian Education Channel, Office of Learning & Teaching, Department of Education & Training. It seems that there are some concerns about blogger and it's suitability for use in schools and so it is going to be blocked at most Victorian Government schools. I am okay with that as I have had some concerns myself about the 'danger' of the Next Blog button which simply means that you never know what is going to turn up at the next click of a button.
With this in mind we switched to learner blogs very early in the year for our students. This is an environment set up by James Farmer, a Melbourne teacher and consultant who saw the need for an educational environment for teachers and students , in fact educators of all kinds to have an online space that would be suitable and protected , but also open and freely available to others on the web.
It 's a balance between recognising the importance and value of an online environment which is accessible to all and protecting to some extent the hearts and minds of our students as they learn to navigate their way around the web.
I had a really productive discussion with Sandy about some of the plans she has for developing just such an environment for Victorian teachers and schools where we could use the expertise and support of James and the Wordpress opensource software to create our own online collborative space.
With this in mind I have joined up with the Global teachers project which is a growing group of Victorian teachers interested in exploring the use of blogs and other Web 2.0 applications.
But while there is this 'cutting of teeth' so to speak I still intend to maintain this blog and will simply post the same material to my other blogs until I am brave enough to bite the bullet and go to just one again.

1 comment:

Simply Science said...

Nice to see that you can function in dual personality Anne. Love the colours on the Suprglu site :)
John P