Digital Artifacts

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Censorship Frustration

Due to lack of classroom space in my school (which has just added an addition this year), we do not have a computer lab. Instead, we have a laptop cart that comes into the classrooms once a week for 45 minutes. It worked out that my class had computer time on Wed this week (which was a half day). I decided to allow the children to play some Thanksgiving Day games on "Black Dog Loves Holidays" (a website for kids) since our time was cut down to only 20 minutes. After we logged onto the internet and located the site...IT WAS BLOCKED!!! It was quite frustrating to find that the website was blocked under the category "Young Children"...even though the site is FOR YOUNG CHILDREN! It reminded me of the readings in the book about censorship and teaching children about using the internet safely. After wasting more than 5 minutes we had to opt for something else on the computer. Now although this was the frustrating it was not even the tip of the iceberg. While the children were shutting down, one of my 6 year-old students asked for assistantce. When I went over to help, there was a pop-up asking "Are You Dateable?" with a guy and a girl kissing! I was so enfuriated that the school has such an elaborate block on the internet that I can't log onto MSU's homepage or a child's website but yet we can have pop-ups asking are you dateable. It reminded of me of the time that a colleague typed in Harcourt, our Math series and a whole bunch of "Hardcore" websites popped-up. So I ask what is the point on having this block when the students can't access so many wonderful sites but yet still have have things pop-up that we "fear" and put the filter on for in the first place?

1 Comments:

Blogger Erin said...

Hi Nic,

I totally agree with you. My school uses websense and up until a week ago I could access highlights.com which is the website for the children's magazine and now I can't. It is blocked. I also can't access many other sites including msu's mail. I tried talking to my tech guy and seeing if it there was a setting where I could log in and be able to access more than the kids but apparently not. Very frustrating!

November 26, 2007 at 1:26 PM  

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