The banning blogs debate just gets better (or worse, depending on how you look at it) and regardless of how you feel, it’s a pretty good example of the kinds of conversations (distributed as they might be) that the Read/Write Web facilitates.
If you want more to think about, read Darren’s post today on “The Fear of Transparency.” And then read Miguel’s response and the others there. I left one too. This thread has shown up on about half a dozen blogs (if not more) and it’s been intruiging to watch as the different tentacles have evolved. It’s work, but it’s worth it.
I’m only going to add one more piece to this. We’ve been talking about how blocking blogs from students may (or may not) protect students. But we haven’t talked much about how blocking blogs from teachers affects us all. Here’s a snip from Miguel at Bud Hunt’s blog that really stuck in my brain:
To deal with the trust issue, I agree completely. I have made these points myself. We just don’t trust our teachers–to run their computers, to teach information literacy, etc. In Districts with integrated learning systems, lock-step scope and sequences that must be followed religiously, it’s clear they are not trusted to even teach. The reasons that happens are legion, but I’m sure you can concede the point that trust is not something teachers enjoy universally in the United States…
It’s simply tragic to me that Miguel can’t access Darren’s blog to comment back because he’s blocked from doing so, that the teachers in his district are denied access to potentially millions of sources of knowledge that, even if their students can’t access it, they can use to supplement what they teach and make it relevant. Worse, it’s tragic that until the district educates its teachers in information literacy, the teachers aren’t even being trusted to make good decisions about the questionable content that may crop up. Even scarier is that that sentiment seems to be widespread.
That’s not how it feels here. And while the many teachers I’ve had a chance to talk to may not have been as tech or Web savvy as they would have liked, I can’t imagine the vast majority of them wouldn’t have known instinctively how to keep their kids safe and teach them something in the process. If that’s incorrect, we’re in a lot bigger trouble than I thought.