Sunday, January 27, 2008

Thoughts that stemmed from Jan 22nd meeting

When we had our virtual meeting on the 22nd, it became clear from the content discussed, that as much as we believe we are moving along with the times, we in fact are not. I know that sounds harsh. We are moving in the right direction, having a beginning point and such, but we may not be moving fast enough. If Regina is not using filtering systems for their computers, and all teachers have a laptop, then we need to start moving faster to catch up with the times.

Sometimes I ponder how nice it would be to not have content filters. Just teach the students responsibility and awareness. It sounds so simple, as though teaching students responsibility, Internet smarts and using common sense (ie. not giving out your address, etc.) is an easy task! Are we not supposed to be doing this anyway??? As our job as teachers gets more detailed, and the list gets longer and longer, why not add Internet smarts to our teaching responsibilities. If we are going to be implementing more Internet use, and more computer program use, then why not teach this in addition to the above mentioned? I think it only makes sense! Yes it is more work, yes it is not cut and dry, but if it is not going to be taught anywhere else, and the students will need this Internet/computer knowledge, then is it not our job to teach it along side our curriculum? We do this with so many other subject areas, and information processing is getting left in the dust, so we need to step up to the plate and start being more responsible ourselves as educators and actually educate our students about things that directly affect them, no matter who they are, and what they want to do with their lives.

Ok. On the other hand, being the devil's advocate, do most students already know these things? Is it really our job? Shouldn't some of these skills be taught at home? How can we implement this soon -with the least amount of resistance? What parameters are we going to have to put up? Are schools going to have to edit their school policies to reflect the open Internet use? Who and how will this be monitored in the classroom when there are so many other issues we have to deal with! What happens when a student looks up inappropriate material during class but the teacher does not catch it? Will parents be in an uproar?

Lots of questions. Few answers. Discussions SHOULD be held. These issues need to be addressed, because even if we do not move towards this wave of the future, many of these questions raised already do affect school Internet use. Students know how to get around content filters, so these questions still apply. Why do we have content filters if they know how to get around them?? UGH! :-)