Thursday, April 14, 2005

Dead in the water - temporarily, I hope

I am really unhappy right now. I have been working on ideas for blogging with my students on the fall. I have 2 different class blog ideas set up on Blogger. But now it looks like I may have to cancel the whole thing. I seriously don't want to do that.

As I said before, because of firewall issues at my college, I can't access most blog sites. Well, I can, but my students can't. I can only access them from my office, which runs off a different ISP. But I had always been able to search for blog providers and I could access some of them from the computer lab the students have access to.

Today I went to the computer lab to try out a couple blog sites - or to see if I could access them. I couldn't. For some reason, I couldn't remember the sites I had been able to access before, so I decided to do a search and see if I could find some of them that way. But when I tried to search for "blog providers", I was denied access to the search by the firewall. Then I tried to search for "free blogs", a term saved in my history on the computer, so I know I had been able to do this before. I was denied access to this search, too. I tried a couple more, all with the same result.

I have contacted our IT guy, and I will see what he says. I am fairly sure I know what he will say, but I hope I am wrong.

Somehow or other, my students WILL blog in the fall. This is a battle I will fight.


Bee said...

I had the same pb at school Nancy...they had vetoed the word "blog". I told the IT dept to let me post on and blogspot so he let me have it.
All the others are blocked though.
I hope it works for you.

aaron said...

Geez....that's horrible! It really disturbs me to read things like this. How could anyone prevent students from learning this way by blocking access to tools that can potentially empower young minds? Sigh....

Anonymous said...

Nancy, I can't imagine how frustrating that is. Certainly, though, it's a technical error and not an issue of intentional blocking (I hope, at least.).
I wonder sometimes if it's too easy for an IT person or someone else to block content that might seem objectionable or difficult or tricky. We should have policies in place to maintain the open flow of information on the Internet.
It should be really, really hard for someone to block websites.

Darren Kuropatwa said...

I also ran into this problem when I started my class blog. Anything with the word "blog" in it results in the scary ACCESS DENIED AND ATEMPT LOGGED page.

The IT guy at my school worked with me to set up special accounts on the school's network for my students. They have special usernames and passwords which they use to login. The browser is set to our blog by default.

In the end, one way or another, the kids worked it out themselves to be able to blog from home.

Given the powerful educational gains to be had from blogging I'm fairly confident that if push came to shove I could negotiate with my administration and IT support to get access for a class on a regular basis.

I wonder if you could work out a similar arrangement with the administration at your school?