Tutorial 7 study guide: SICTAS (2009)

SICTAS. 2009. Web 2.0 site blocking in schools. Available at http://www.educationau.edu.au/2009-reports. Accessed 25 January 2010.

We will be discussing this resource in class. All resources are available on E-Reserve for this unit.

Just read the Executive Summary (pp 7 – 11) if you are time-poor.

  • The main barriers to teachers’ effective uptake of Web 2.0 in their teaching are, according to this report (SICTAS 2009, p. 1),
  • “teacher lack of knowledge and confidence in Web 2.0
  • lack of safe places to gain experience with using Web 2.0 tools in teaching
  • concerns about cyber-safety and cyber-bullying
  • professional risk of allowing students access to popular social networking sites
  • limited bandwidth for effective delivery of rich Web 2.0 media
  • inflexibility of school site blocking systems
  • inability to provide access to educationally-relevant content from blocked sites.”
  • The report also points out how site-blocking is part of schools’ cybersafety strategies as regards duty of care to students (SICTAS 2009, p. 2). The problem, however, is that site-blocking often prevents access to “educationally valuable” (SICTAS 2009, p. 30) sites.
  • The report identifies a number of limitations to current filtering methods (SICTAS 2009, p. 1):
  • “Web 1.0 site-based approach to filtering generally leads to an all or nothing approach to blocking Web 2.0 online communities.
  • support to allow schools to customize access control only operates at a whole school site level (unable to differentiate between teachers and students).
  • they lack other fine-grained person-centric access controls such as the ability to control access via activities, groups, available bandwidth, time limits and the time of day.”
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Tutorial 7 study guide: Notley (2008)

Key point: Site-blocking is not a sensible response to the problem of accessing inappropriate online content at school.

Notley, Tanya M. 2008. Online Network Use in Schools: Social and Educational Opportunities. Youth Studies Australia Vol. 27, Iss. 3: 20-29.

We will be discussing this resource in class. All resources are available on E-Reserve for this unit.

This is a fairly easy read and has some important things to say about the digital divide. Here are some of the key points and relevant quotes.

  • Notley describes positive correlation between access to online networks and increased social capital, e.g., better health, education and employment outcomes (Notley 2008: 6).
  • She points out, however, that “the educational benefits of the internet are not automatic, nor are they guaranteed” (Notley 2008: 7). In other words, simply having access to PCs, etc., does not close what Henry Jenkins describes as ‘participation gap,’ that is “unequal access to the opportunities, experiences, skills, and knowledge that will prepare youth for full participation in the world of tomorrow (p.3)” (Notley 2008: 8). How does this relate to how we understand the ‘digital divide’ these days?
  • In considering site-blocking practices, Notley questions the value of online spaces designed and managed by school administrators: “Whether it is possible for young people to learn the ICT capabilities they require to participate on online networks through a limited, restricted and completely adult-managed intranet like Learning Place needs to be assessed through empirical research” (Notley 2008: 10). Why do schools block sites? Is this an appropriate response to being able to access inappropriate content at school? Is this point moot now, anyway, given that kids can access the internet via 3G-enabled mobile devices? What might a more ‘educative’ approach to the issue look like?
  • She also points to the impacts on inclusion opportunities that site-blocking (“internet censorship in schools,” she calls it) has on those without home internet access: “The need and justification for this restricted access and the question of whether students are aware of the limited options they do have should form part of an important public discussion about the current forms of internet censorship in schools. Of key importance to this discussion will be an assessment of how current forms of content censorship in schools may be impacting on the digital inclusion opportunities of different young people, particularly those without home internet access” (Notley 2008: 11). Does site-blocking affect digital participation?
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Lecture 07.01: Managing risk on the web (f2f)

Feel free to add a Voicethread comment to this presentation by clicking on ‘comment’ in the screen; or, leave a comment on the post itself. See the large version on Voicethread.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

LWT2010 Lecture 0701 Managing Risk on the Web Handout (PDF, 2.6 MB)

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Unit Satisfaction Survey

Hope you can git you some.

The Winter Term, 2010, University of Canberra USS (Unit Satisfaction Survey) turns on next Monday, 26 July. The survey will run to 3 September. You can access the survey by logging into OSIS.

Picture: Visual representation of how to fill out your survey for LWT.

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Non-service backup options

If your web service does not offer a backup option, here are some things that might help.

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Importing your Tumblr into WordPress

Some of you may want to do this because Tumblr does not support comments whereas WordPress does (that’s one of the downsides of Tumblr’s being so simple — less functionality…). Here’s what to do:

  1. Make sure you have an account and blog with WordPress, first.
  2. Go to the Tumblr2Wordpress XML exporter
  3. Type in your Tumblr name, as per the instructions
  4. Check the ‘WordPress.com’ button
  5. Click export and save the file to your desktop
  6. In your WordPress dashboard, go to Tools > Import > WordPress > [locate your file] > Upload file and import
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Self-directed learning 6: Games

Task: Explore, analyse and write up games. What makes an effective game? Can you use games in your own classroom? How would you use them? What problems might you encounter? How can they add value?

There are stacks of games and rich content out there for you to access. You can check out some of the links below but you might just want to google the topic.

Steven Johnson in Everything Bad is Good For You states that good games should:

  • Be hard
  • Be about experience, delayed gratification, exploration, teamwork, reward
  • Force you to decide, choose, prioritise (weigh evidence, analyse situations, consult long-term goals, decide)

Games should encourage students to use a a ‘scientific, probing method’ approach:

  1. Probe the environment
  2. Form an hypothesis
  3. Reprobe and check the effect
  4. Rethink based on feedback

Games are about ‘telescoping’:

  1. Co-ordinating with your ultimate objectives
  2. Creating order and constructing proper hierarchies
  3. Long-term planning and present focus

Brought to you by Toothpaste for Dinner :)

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