Hunch

    I have a hunch that 8e6 Technologies, the group that filters our school area’s Internet, recently decided that Google Video is "R Rated."  I noticed that the site became blocked here a few days ago.  YouTube has been blocked, for the same reason, for a while. 
    Dear 8e6, please remove those sites from "R Rated."  We use Google Video to host our video work for OldeSchoolNews.com.  In my experience, their content is community policed for decency.  The same can’t be said for the stuff that isn’t being blocked. 
    than I do.  I simply contend that no one thought much about it when they hit the filter switch.  And that’s unacceptable.  That switch should only be pulled as a last resort, not as a first line of defense.

UPDATE (2/21/07):  I didn’t do a good job of making my point in the post above, so I’ll try again.  The reason I’m mentioning the block of Google Video is because it appears to me that someone in a private company somewhere made a decision about the value (or lack thereof) of a particular website.  Then, that individual, without consultation with or consideration of, schools that (are required by federal law to) use their product (or another one like it), applied the filter to that website.
  That’s too simple.  It should take more thought and effort and discussion to turn off a piece of the Internet in a public school in the United States of America.  It should be hard.
    But it isn’t, and that’s sad.
    I am not against the careful use of filters.  Some stuff has no business at school.  But we should be erring on the side of too open, not too closed. 

4 thoughts on “Hunch

  1. Frustrating.

    I sat in a meeting yesterday with about 15 area technology directors and the sales team from Cisco. Every other sentence was about how the boogey man was out to get them and that they needed to buy this or that line of products to protect their networks.

    The area tech directors weren’t too pleased when I went on an extended line of questioning with Cisco asking a) what would it take to put together a regional mesh network or b) how realistic are the cellular networks when it comes to data. Both questions were framed as circumventing school networks. :o)

  2. Thank you for mentioning my post in your critique of the filtering that 8e6 technologies is doing right now. I agree that many of our Technology Directors are more concerned with filtering the content, rather than preserving the resources. There is so much more to social software than the content. They are ways of huddling around an area of interest, of making knowledge into a virus. I wrote the post that you linked to originally as a way of getting my kids excited about protesting our district’s decision (and ultimately 8e6’s). Many of my students have taken me up on the offer and a few of them have added their posts to our del.icio.us account (http://del.icio.us/weeklyauthentic/google_video). I would love to see more students start sticking up for their learning experiences, and I think that we owe it to them to do so as well.

  3. Is it blocked altogether, or is just the search function blocked? Our filter currently blocks the search function, but not direct links to videos. (And using Google’s advanced search with video.google.com or youtube.com for the domain sometimes works). I know this would be difficult for a filter company, but they need to find a way to block offending videos, not the entire site. While difficult, that is their job. If that turns out to be impossible, then that just points again to how problematic trying to filter the Internet is . . .

  4. Bud,

    I completely agree. It should be very difficult to block information from getting into American public schools. If we make it easy to block one thing, then it will be easier to block the next thing and so on. Eventually, everything will be blocked but the material that somebody deems is appropriate for others to see. This reminds me of something: Was it the Soviet Union? Was it Nazi Germany?

    Thanks for your post.

    Andrew Pass
    http://www.pass-ed.com/Living-Textbook.html

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