Tuesday, March 18, 2008

the mini legends become legends

South Australian teaching colleague, Al Upton's Year 3 students ("the mini legends") blogs have been disabled by order of DECS (Department of Education and Children’s Services - South Australia).

Al Upton has taught his students to find their voice and express it clearly and with emotion.

See Order for Closure - there are hundreds of comments, from the mini legends themselves and expressions of solidarity from bloggers around the globe.

Here is a protest comments from one of Al's year 3's:
mini17 - March 17, 2008
hi Al
I was almost in tears when i heard my blog was shut-down.i was so sad and dissenpointed. i realy enjoyed bloging. i absoulutly loved my cluster-map. i somtimes might say all that work for nothing. The vokis are cool. i start thinking that we wouldent be able to talk to our mentors. it uset to be fun cheers mini17
Another mini wrote:
When I found out that our blogs were closing down, I felt confused, sad and angry. I felt really sad because I felt that all Al had taught us had gone to waste. We had a vote on a name for our new forum. The new name for our forum is Article 13. It means Rights for the Child.I felt better with my blog in many ways.
>Writing and reciving comments.
>Cammunicating with other people.
and lots of other reasons. By mini22
What is this thing they speak of:
Article 13, The Rights of the Child

Convention on the Rights of the Child
Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989

Article 13

1. The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child's choice.

2. The exercise of this right may be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; or

(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.

Who speaks for Article 13? Is it Al or DECS?

update (19th March):

Wonderful, also to see some supportive comments from parents of the kids involved on Al's blog. Just goes to show what a good job Al has done in educating not only his year 3's but the wider school community.

My other thought is that the much despised DECS on line filtering system does block the read write web (blogs, wikis etc.) by default. This has been discussed at length previously on the South Australian IT teacher list. Individual teachers in schools can apply for some domains to be unblocked (eg. blogger or word press) so the barrier is not insurmountable. Nevertheless, I have posted links to my blog on the IT teachers list and then received complaints from other teachers on the list that they can't access it. It is a real barrier and indicative of the cautious, "risk free" mentality of the Department. Innovation is discouraged, not encouraged. This is not some single case aberration but more like a logical extension of the myopic original mindset.

1 comment:

alexanderhayes said...

Symposium Of Reason : Blogging In the 21st Century

Friday, May 2nd

Adelaide

Venue tba.