MItch Wagner sez, "I've done a series of blog posts on the subject of how Internet censorship harms American schools, based on conversations with Craig Cunningham, an associate professor, in the Technology in Education Program at National-Louis University. The latest is 'How Internet censorship harms schools.' Readers asked for examples of how heavy-handed Internet filtering software hurts education. Here are a few, with pointers to more."
The Canadian National History Society was forced to change the name of its magazine, The Beaver, founded in 1920, because the name of the magazine caused it to be blocked by Internet filters.
One teacher wanted to show students some pictures that would illustrate the effects of atomic testing. "However when I went to bring the Wikipedia page up at school during class, it was blocked by our internet filter, BESS. The name of the islands? 'Bikini Atoll,'" said Doug Johnson, quoting the teacher. Johnson, a director of media and technology at a Minnesota school district, put out a call in July for stories about how Internet filtering hobbles education, and got an earful. ("Censorship by Omission")
Johnson also shares a message from another teacher, describing how a school's systems security manager decided to block the social bookmarking site delicous.com. The reason? You can use the site to search for porn.
Other blockages include Melville's Moby-Dick
Every time I give a school talk, I ask teachers and students for examples of how blocking harms their education, and every teacher has a list of problems a mile long -- horror stories about setting up a lesson plan in the morning with links to videos and web-sites, only to discover by the afternoon that key URLs have been erroneously blocked.
And yet, every group of students I speak to has no problem coming up with ways to evade censorware. Which means that we're not stopping kids from doing naughty things -- just driving them to keep their network activity hidden from the educators who are supposed to be helping them navigate the information age, while confounding their teachers' ability to use legitimate materials in the classroom.
How Internet censorship harms schools
The PocketLab is billed as a “Swiss Army Knife of science.” Launched via Kickstarter, the small device contains numerous sensors to measure acceleration, force, angular velocity, magnetic field, pressure, altitude, and temperature and send that data to smartphones or laptops. According to inventor Clifton Roozeboom, it’s a tool for students and citizen scientists who can’t […]
Ambient displays translate online information into a simple presentation that’s meant to be glanceable, easy to understand, and non-intrusive. I’ve always appreciate artistic ambient displays, like Nancy Patterson’s Stock Market Skirt and Eric Paulos’s Limelight. Ken Kawamoto’s Tempescope appears to be another wonderful example. It’s a weather display in the form of a transparent box […]
Twenty years ago, Texas Instruments released the TI-83 graphing calculator, a stupidly expensive piece of old technology that most high schools still require their juniors and seniors buy for around $100. Why? Because. That’s why. From Mic.com: Pearson textbooks feature illustrations of TI-series calculators alongside chapters so students can use their TI calculator in conjunction […]
Power up your gadgets in the most unexpected places with the extremely compact SolarJuice battery pack. SolarJuice charges up at home like your average battery pack, but also lets you add extra juice on-the-go using its built-in solar panel—so you’ll never be left unplugged from the digital world.4.5 Stars on Amazon!Simultaneously charges 2 devices at […]
Hold your camera to higher standards with the brand-new iBlazr 2, the most advanced LED flash to date. Simply attach to your smartphone, tablet, or DSLR camera. Conveniently sized and wireless, this premium flash will let you easily take amazing photos in low light situations. It’s a literal snap to use: simply attach to your […]
Moment of truth: Is “Microsoft Office Expert” on your resume, but not totally accurate? This pay what you want bundle will not only help you brush up on old skills, but teach you advanced techniques that will impress your current and future boss. From intricate Excel formulas to Outlook organization hacks, you’ll not only boost […]