It has happened ….again.
One of the easiest tools for teachers that are just beginning to jump into the web-page building world, is Weebly. It is easy to use, it looks good, the beginning stages are free, and they can post pictures! That pretty much covers the basic needs of beginners. And now we have been told by our district IT department that Weebly is now blocked. Why? Because there is inappropriate content on Weebly. Not that our students can access it, or that it has broken through our filters – but because it is a site that can host inappropriate content. We have been informed that individual subdomain sites cannot be unblocked, and that any level of unblocking would be a violation of our state statutes and endanger our state funding and e-rate monies. While we could spend hours debating the details, logistics, usefulness, appropriateness, long-term consequences, etc, etc, etc of that decision – the bottom line for teachers is that one more tool is taken away. And replaced with what? Even our district itself has had trouble finding a tool where our teachers and students can easily create public accessible web sites. Google sites is also blocked for our students – as well as almost all blogging sites. So, time to reach out to the power of a global learning community! Any ideas or suggestions for our students or teachers? We need a tool to create websites that won’t get blocked! Then, after our websites are up, let’s dedicate a page to discussing how these decisions are made, who makes them, and how we can find more workable solutions besides blocking useful tools.