As I have just ranted about on Tom Barrett’s blog post about using Google Docs for online reporting to parents, I am becoming increasingly frustrated with trying to use the Internet both myself and with pupils at school. It is to all intents and purposes blocked and Web 2.0 seems to be considered a security risk.
As an example, I arrived in school today to find that Google Docs is blocked for staff. When pushed the risk was explained that private pupil data could be copied onto GDocs and shared. I was offered the opportunity to have the specific url of my spreadsheet unblocked after it had been vetted. This logic seems to wipe out the use of the entire read/write web in my school Here is the sheet I am trying to share with my class, I think it’s use is fairly self explanatory: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pi_Ik07yjYQaT9yf5YdsIPQ
I can feel creativity and spontanaiety along with a wealth of learning opportunities being lost at every turn.
The school is investing in a VLE, something I am losing interest in as it will be a walled garden / fortress if everything else is to go by.
I would like to present an informed argument against this to those in power over these matters at school. The obvious starting places seem to be BECTAs recent encouragement of Web 2.0 use in schools (also see Ewan’s take), and their guidance on safe use of data. I believe that the former encourages what I am trying to achieve and the latter does not preclude it.
I suppose my plea at the end of this rather self-indulgent rant is for any other resources I could use to help my cause, further guidance, exemplary examples of pupil/staff on-line work etc etc.
Any advice is gratefully received!
EDIT: Just to make clear and reiterate: I don’t want to get into a moan about specific staff on a public blog, I do have a good working relationship with the IT department and senior leadership, I just need to change their ways!