In my last post I questioned our approach (as educators) to what we believe to be acceptable use (in terms of technology). Basically, I am not quite sure that we are "on the same page" as our students - that we are missing amazing educational opportunities. I used an example in which a teacher asked a student in my class to get off youtube. That teacher was Gary Ball. Now Gary and I have a great relationship and the example I used was meant to probe into deeper issues. I used this example because Gary has a firm grasp of technological use and is really an innovative and progressive thinker in terms of technology. I knew that Gary and I could talk about what happened and use it to benefit future education of our students. This is one answer - to have collaborative relationships with your colleagues so that you can figure out best educational practice. Anyway, here is a snippet of Gary's response.
I don't really like the idea of letting every teacher make their own decisions on THIS PARTICULAR ISSUE. The problem is that one classroom has the potential to affect the entire network. One classroom all on Facebook has less of an effect on all of us. We need to be consistent on an issue like this.
Anyways - I think that the discussion needs to continue. The real answer is more bandwidth - but until then we have to find some way to cope with our students educational needs and the limitations of our system.
I found this interesting - one because I didn't expect this to be Gary's response, and two - because what he says has some interesting implications. Gary's argument is realistic. He disagrees with leaving it up to individual teacher's discretion for one reason and one reason only - the "limitations of our system". What we do online drastically affects other classrooms online. This is because of bandwidth. If a teacher is giving "free time" on the internet everyday, although that is an issue administration would deal with, it affects everyone. I talked to Gary and had him clarify his reasoning. Sadly what he says is true - we need to "find some way to cope with our students educational needs and the limitations of our system". Now, we both disagree with this, but it is our reality. What we would argue is that the limitations of our system are also limiting our students educational opportunities. We need to change this and NOT be okay with it. I have heard that more bandwidth is high on the agenda for the upcoming year. Thankfully we are part of a progressive educational division that is in tune with the future of education.