Tuesday, May 29, 2007

High School classes from Netizen Kevikens

Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 10:48 AM
To: "wwo@worldwithoutoil.org" <wwo@worldwithoutoil.org>
Subject: High School classes from Netizen Kevikens

This past week my paper asked me to do a story on the local public high schools and see what they were doing with their students about the looming oil crisis. I chose a suburban high school in New Jersey as I thought it might be indicative of what other schools might be doing. After going to this school I hope it is not. Apparently there was some interest on the part of several teachers to use the World Without Oil website and game to get the students involved in how to prepare for the coming fuel shortages . Several teachers used the lesson plans from the website and the students were just getting into the activities when the school district literally pulled the plug and closed the server to that website. It seems the school district did not want the students blogging on the net. When I questioned the school administration about this since the program came from PBS I was told it did not matter who produced it or what the content matter was, no interactive websites would be allowed. The school's "net nanny" killed it. Somewhat surprised by this intransigence I contacted the county superintendant of schools who informed me that this applied to all the schools in the county and probably the whole state as well. Time on this assignment does not permit this reporter to contact other regions of the US, let alone other countries, to see if this is also the case but how sad it is that a school system would not have the common sense to understand that in the present energy crisis students should be permitted to contact and communicate with others ideas and proposals for solutions to the problems. Considering just how much energy the schools themselves use this is neither wise or just. They too are part of the problem. They need to be part of the solution.


Rainey said...

Wow, that's taking the "safe for kids" thing too far. How responsive is a learning environment where they can'[t distinguish between interactive learning and making kids vulnerable to blogging predators? I mean, I'm assuming there's a blogging ban for safety reasons; otherwise, I'm *totally* out of touch with modern educational thinking.


Rainey said...

....waitasec, can you slip the teachers our toll-free phone #? The students can get updates and leave audio stories that way.

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