Sunday, July 17, 2011

We've MOVED to EduBlogs!

Because the HCPSS school district decided to block all Blogger blogs because of their Sexual Content we've moved to EduBlogs. Now usually I'm vexed with sites being blocked for any reason because I truly believe that life is not filtered so we should teach our students how to be responsible, discerning, & ethical in their search choices but in this case I do see their logic.

I've had this blog for 5+ years - It's a conversation between my students, community, and the world about our library program & practice. We highlight student achievements, new books, web 2.0 tools, QR codes, and the cool things we do in our awesome school.
YouTube blocks nudity & sexual content, why not Blogger? If Blogger just took the same tact "YouTube is not for pornography or sexually explicit content. If this describes your video, even if it's a video of yourself, don't post it on YouTube." Then all the educational blogs out there - including mine - would not be blocked. Also taking off the "next blog" button would be very helpful since some of the next blogs are NOT appropriate. I've been a Google educator since 2004 I love me my Google! I've been championing my district to have a Google Server & use the Educational apps! Now this.

The Blogger Content Warning does not say anything about age... just "I understand and wish to continue" or "I do not wish to continue" - This is just not good enough if a student stumbles across pornographic material WHILST researching in SCHOOL. If they at least had a warning about being over 18 then we could say the student - if they chose the content - was breaking the Acceptable Use Policy but as it's worded - no such luck. I can't even defend that. And my students deserve more.

If you can't change your business strategy in this matter - can you give me any advice on how to ask my District to consider unblocking our Library Blog? When a blogger designates their blog as having "adult content" can filters just block THOSE sites & leave other sites clear? I don't know much about that kind of higher level of coding or filtering (html sure but I'm really a software girl) but I can pass along any suggestions you might have.

UPDATE: From Nick, the Technology Security Analyst - Technology Department
Howard County Public School System

"Take a look at the server name that hosts your screen shot of youtube's policy ( If you were to look at the server name of "questionable" content you would notice that the server name is the same. This is why we can not allow one without the other. The server name used to call adult content is the same as your non-adult content."
So apparently can't block the bad without blocking the good.

I ardently believe in teaching without a filter. Life is not filtered. We need to teach digital citizenship so that students can evaluate web content again with knowledge, discernment, & ethics. We also need to teach with effective classroom management. BUT websites have to meet us halfway and not make it REALLY easy to see & filter out pornographic content. Also, some districts are not there yet. I need ammunition or a change of heart on this issue.

'Cause really, isn't there just enough porn on the Interwebs as it is?

Thank you!
~Gwyneth Jones
The Daring Librarian

Well, I've given it a few months...hoping against hope that Blogger or Google would establish an .EDU server and so far, they haven't.......So the blog on EduBlogger will be the new home for this blog...AND...I've been accepted to the Google Teacher Academy in Seattle Washington this summer and maybe...there will be an appropriate and tactful time to maybe ask for Google to think about us educational bloggers! Please change your bookmarks, RSS feeds, & visit us at our new home!

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