I’m at a Canadian School in China. At a staff meeting I shared a thoughtful blog post by a student reporter for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. It’s a great post by a student that went and visited ‘Tent City’, built to house the city’s homeless during the Olympics: Olympic Games Side Effects on Vancouver. My Grade 9 teacher asked for the Students Live website and a link to this post. (I mentioned the Students Live bloggers here.)
The Students Live website provides a number of different ways to connect and interact with the Olympic reporter student bloggers. However, we live in China which filters a lot of social software websites and so these were the options that my Grade 9 teacher was confronted with:
Blogspot Blogs: BLOCKED
Flickr: (recently) BLOCKED (again)
I had to use my VPN to bypass the Chinese filter in order to cut and paste the blog post, mentioned above, into an email so that my teacher could read it in his class. A potential global ‘conversation’ reduced to a reading, confined to a classroom. Frustrating!
Now here is the thing… I chose to move to a country where a lot of sites get blocked. I can’t imagine what it’s like for teachers in the ‘free world’ that have their own school districts do this to them!