My district has a new filtering program and I guess they are trying to get their money’s worth because they continue to block sites – not just daily, but hourly. While working on READissance forms this morning, I had to find the number of pages in several books our library does not own. Our public library didn’t have one of the titles, so I decided to rely on one of my best cataloging friends, Amazon.
I was using our generic student log in and was amazed to find that Amazon has been blocked for students. Same with Barnes and Noble. Yes, students are supposed to use the Internet for school work only, but don’t students sometimes have questions about books that can’t be answered by their OPAC or media specialist?
Okay, fast forward a bit in my day to 3rd block. A class had come in to continue researching The Canterbury Tales. When I walked by one computer, I noticed the Fortiguard (I think that is the company) warning that a user had tried to access a blocked site. The site? One that is the home page of every LMC computer – our library media center’s web site!
To say that I was angry is an understatement. To say that I was frustrated is an understatement. To say that I wanted to pitch a flaming hissy in the LMC and use words that the *!#@*^#! filtering program would filter out is an understatement. To say that I used enormous self-control is NOT an understatement.
Yes, my library media web site was created in Googlepages. It was created this past summer as an assignment for a graduate class and was the best way I had available to me at the time to create a site and post it to the Internet. Yes, there may be some Googlepages sites that are questionable. But this is not reason enough to me to block out any and all pages that are hosted by Google.
As an educator, my job is to prepare students to function in the real world. The real world doesn’t filter web sites. This seems to be a bit of a problem to me.
But what do I know? I have only taught for 31 years, am only Nationally Board Certified, have only one Master’s degree plus fifty-seven more graduate hours, and lack only three graduate courses to hold a second Master’s degree (which I am now pursuing).
While earning all those graduate hours, I also managed to raise two daughters who make me burst with pride for many reasons. But I always tell them that I am most proud of the fine young women they have become. And guess where they attended school? In the same district in which I teach – which did not have this *@#!*#! filtering program while they were students. So, golly gee, how in the world did they manage to not grow into psychopathic, homocidal, warped maniacs?
Ranting is done – for now. Send blood pressure medicine.
Image Attribution: ‘Inside H Block 4‘