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Friday, December 4, 2009

When did I start teaching in China?

Funny, I expect no access to Facebook or MyCrack as school. Facebook is a serious timewaster and MyCrack is filled with bullshit, skanks and annoying people (yes, I still have my account). But blocking Twitter!?! Really? Really!? Really!!
I mostly only created my twitter account so I COULD post to my Facebook from school. Hey, I have things I wanna say during the day. I believe it worked yesterday, but I went to update this morning and ... GONE. Blocked via administrative rules or something. Are you kidding me? How is Twitter something that should be blocked? What next? Blogger?

I guess I should finish this post before they do block it.

President Obama spoke in China recently about how they need to open up the internet and allow free access to more information. There's ALWAYS an inherent danger in allowing access to information, but there's more danger in NOT allowing it - unless you're the one in charge disallowing it so the danger isn't presented to you.
So, I'm slowly feeling like I'm teaching in a little China. FB blocked, MS blocked, Pandora blocked, Twitter blocked. At this point, I expect them to block Faux News, since you'll find more hate and misinformation and danger there than even MyCrack. I'm surprised they aren't blocking google... that would be hilarious.

I'd ask the IT team about it, but frankly, I don't trust there wouldn't be retribution in some form for just ASKING. There's also always the question of "how is this being used for education?" I guess I need to become a follower of some mathematicians to justify the access?

I've only been at a couple school, but I've found the IT teams in high school seem to have a god complex. Block it until it's proven ok... I am Zeus. When I started in the alt-ed program here nearly 3.5 years ago, I wanted a Japanese font installed on my school provided laptop. I wanted it so I could make alternative signs and posts... make a calendar with something different, express numbers a little differently... just have as little fun. I was shot down. "Explain how you can use this for teaching your class" was the essential response. Seriously? Ridiculous! It's a font. It's something outside the box. It ended up being the start of feeling like the I team actually decides how education will work here. I decided to not go over anyone's head, since I don't trust egomaniacs - no telling when they'd just shut down our net access altogether.

Joy. They have returned to making sure those with money have access to what they want. People with smart phones and data plans only need the providers' network and within school, they have access. Because I refuse to pay $30 extra a month for that on my phone, I am denied.

Rant over. I might be silly about this, but I can't be sillier than blocking a micro-blog site.


Corey said...

I leave copies of CGIProxy installed everywhere, just because of filters like that.

Chris Moran said...

Hah, yeah, I always forget where you've got those nuggets hidden. Doesn't matter any more to me anyway. They have specifically written into the acceptable use policy against using proxies. Fucking school IT nazis.

Anonymous said...

dude just sign up to facebook mobile with your cell phone and you can set your status from a text message, it doesnt cost any extra a month or anything.

Chris Moran said...

Except for having to pay for a data plan on the phone... which is a whole other level of silly for me.

Anonymous said...

its not a data plan. you dont connect to the internet at all. it goes through like a normal text message. if you have texting plan you can do it

Chris Moran said...

didn't know you could update with just a text message... that would imply there's a direct email method as well. I do like how there is now a reply to comments function in email notifications.
That said, I also refuse to pay fro text (so far), as it's criminal how much users are charged for a service that almost literally costs the phone company NOTHING since the data sent in a txt is nothing compared to the amount of data communication they need with the phone just for keeping it connected.

Also, if we're gonna have a conversation, how about NOT being anonymous. It's creepy. :)