Thursday, November 23, 2006

Colleges Embrace Blogs

I know I get obsessed with things and can't let things just lie. (Brody and Mayo remind me of this during lunch) As I was reading the NY Times online (something you can still do on NYC DOE computers) I came across this article. I was glad to see that higher education sees the value in (peer to peer) technology. I only hope this trickles down to HS one day.

You do not have to go to far to see its use:

Check out or

The NYTIMES article I am referencing is excerpted below:

"While some colleges and their presidents have seen their reputations shredded on
student blogs, and others have tried to limit what students and faculty members
may say online, about a dozen or so presidents, like Dr. McGuire, are vaulting
the digital and generational divide and starting their own blogs....

....“When I first started learning about blogs, I said, ‘Well, here I
like to discourse on issues of the day, connect with the campus community,’ ”
recalled Dr. McGuire, who said she wrote all her own entries. “Here’s a way I
can talk a couple of times a week to everybody.”


D. Guglielmini said...

I notice a significant decline in student participation on all blogs in the past week or two. I wanted to show students in math class the blog we've just set up, and many of the photos and features were unavailable. I'm sure you've discussed this with your students- what do they think about this?

I don't think it is an obsession- you've spent time setting up this forum that extends learning beyond the classroom and only students with internet access at home, rather than all students, have the ability to contribute. I only wish I had the solution-
What can you do about it?
Do we have the ability to suggest unfiltering certain sites?

Is it worth the time to switch to a new blog site only to be blocked again?
How can you make change happen?
It is frustrating that the "new literacies" teachers are incorporating into the curriculum are unavailable in the classroom.

What do other teachers that use blogs in the classroom think about this?

Anonymous said...

I think the Union should raise the issue with management, I mean the administration. Did school administrators make this decision or were they ordered (empowered?) to by the powers that be? Let's seek some transparency and resolution. If the students care enough about it, maybe they could be mobilized to seek change.

Ms. Mayo said...

I was waging the battle of the filters as many as seven years ago. Filters are a CYA move and are pretty common in schools throughout the country. Yes, kids have unsupervised access at home, but if something happens at school, well...nobody wants the responsibility. Of course, we should be teaching them how to use it safely and limting access is not the way.

That said, the decision to filter has not, in the NYC DOE, been made at the school level. I don't know if it still works this way, but principals were able to get sites unblocked. In fact, when my kids had webpages on Geocities at Jamaica H.S., we even had access to yahoo email because kids were able to get email from outside telementors that gave them feedback on their work. You have to jump through some hoops to get the job done. I think my jumping days may be done.


Ms. Mayo said...

And, alas, the administration (aka Nigel) has had the senior blogspot unblocked. With, in my experience, unprecedented speed.