"We're sorry. Blogs are not allowed"
That was the very short, very blunt response I received from my district's IT department after I pleaded with them to unblock edublogs so that my students could blog about their topic for a project I'm doing for my contemporary world issues class.
Really? Edublogs is not allowed? I'm not allowed to use a technology specifically created for classroom teachers to help my students gain a greater understanding of their world? Really?
Seriously? You have to respond to me like I'm five years old. I don't get an explanation or person to contact (the e-mail was sent with some kind of computer system address so there was nobody I could even e-mail back to). I'm not one of the students. Seriously?
It's not just edublogs. The district I work in seems to be on a mission to block just about every site that a student could remotely use as a distraction. No google images, no youtube and no blogging websites whatsoever. And it's not just students that are being blocked, it's teachers too. Teachers aren't even allowed to create their own websites for their classroom unless they use the software provided by the district to do it with, which (by the way) cannot be linked to our teacher profiles on the school's website.
I hear from a credible source that these secret IT people have crazy abilities to block certain sites for some students but not others. They can even allow teachers to view youtube but not students. SO WHY THE HELL ARE 75% OF INTERNET SITES BLOCKED FOR EVERYBODY. If you don't want students using the internet, then we may as well save all that money we dumped on the computers, because our students sure as hell aren't using them to write papers.