Mr10 goes to choir practice on Tuesday mornings, so me and Mr6 spend half an hour before class begins snuggled up in the Junior School Library reading to each other. When the Junior School Librarian asked me to give a talk at a meeting for Junior School librarians in Perth, I was delighted to be able to share and do so at a “home” venue.
Last time I spoke with school librarians, the issue of blocked sites came up. The group of librarians today were all fired up to create a wiki for running their group business when some of them pointed out that sites “with the words wiki or blog in their URL” are blocked by their school’s IT departments. It’s a similar story to the Ning network that was used as a conference website for the Web 2.0 Beyond the Hype symposium in Brisbane at the start of the year. Several health librarians, including those giving papers, could not access the site due to their IT department’s blocking policies.
What to do? There are sites like ibypass.net, which let you get past your IT department’s restrictions and access blocked sites – unless they read this blog, of course ’cause I’ve just blabbed. I like the discussion from Harriet Wakelam about the issues and some of the solutions to blocking sites in an educational setting in her post ,Blocking YouTube.. a short fairy tale about access.
I think the main thing to do is to talk about what happens at our sites, and for those with relatively unblocked sites to publish statistics about the number of bad incidents and the extra staff time taken up due to free access – oh, and maybe the educational benefits they get when they can use a gamut of web tools.
Here are the slides from the presentation that I promised to put here on my blog. The first part of the talk was about new tools and how they can make global connections between children. For the second part, we were going to create a wiki using pbwiki.
Big thanks to Judy O’Connell for the wise counsel last week about what I should put in my talk.