28 Days of Teens & Tech #28: Help Me YALSA! I’m Blocked

Welcome to the last day of Teens & Tech. I hope you enjoyed it. Sorry for the delay in getting this last post up. I was having, of all things, technology issues. Today’s topic was suggested by the Tech Integrator at my school, Allison Lundquist.

Dear YALSA:

Thank you for all of the great suggestions. Here’s my problem. I’m totally blocked. I want to share awesome YouTube videos with my teachers, but YouTube is blocked. I want to create a Facebook page for my library, but Facebook is banned, too. Skype-An-Author? I’d love to, but Skype is verboten. How do I get around these filtering issues?

All Blocked Up

Dear ABU:

I feel your pain, I really do. Nothing is worse than seeing that SonicWall come up to stop you in your tracks.

Really this is an issue of intellectual freedom, the same as a book challenge. If we feel that a site has merit, we need to fight for it. The ALA office of Intellectual Freedom has a very useful page about filters and filtering.

Getting access to these sites may be a long, uphill battle. In the meantime, there are work-arounds. For example, at my school we’ve convinced the tech folks and administration of the educational value of Skype. So, if a teacher wants to Skype an author or another expert, the service can be unblocked from a given computer for a set period of time.

Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers recently offered 47 Alternatives to Using YouTube in the Classroom. This is a list of 47 other sites for free online video content: a really great resource.

For Social Networking, Edmodo is a “free and secure social learning network for teachers, students and schools.” The challenge is getting students to use it.

So, YALSA readers, one last time, share your expertise and let us all know how you work around restrictive filtering.

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