This post from teacher in a community we’re working in is just too classic not to share:

Enjoy a laugh at my expense as I share recent highlights from my district’s firewall policies:

We use some sort of filter that counts how many pixels in a photo are flesh-colored. If the ratio is too high, the photo is blocked. Both Sponge Bob (who is yellow, by the way) and Michael Phelps with his Olympic medals are too racy for the filter.

We cannot use Wordle (even though the Website appeared in several national education journals) because students might read inappropriate words in the gallery posts of other users. No one in the tech department could specifically identify a post they found inappropriate for children, though. They never flipped through a National Geographic or dictionary when they were middle-schoolers, apparently (must be too low tech).

Our district blocked the Barnes & Noble site because “teachers might be shopping during school.” When I pointed out that B&N is an approved vendor and we cannot fill out purchase orders for books without accessing the site, the ban was lifted.

My students think the technology access is a joke, and it takes me hours to find sites for research or lessons that we can access at school. I could not even show Pres. Obama’s pre-inauguration comments on his Website because they were YouTube files.

Makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time…

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Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice. She works with schools and districts from around the world helping them to infuse technology into their curriculums and by leading other digital conversion efforts. Sheryl also consults with governments, educational organizations and non-profits in development of their various professional learning initiatives. Sheryl is a sought-after presenter at national and international events, speaking on topics related to digital and online learning, teacher and educational leadership, online community building, and other educational issues impacting children of poverty. Sheryl served on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Board of Directors for six years. She co-authored The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age with Lani Ritter Hall. Sheryl has four children and four grandsons, Luke, Logan, Levi and Tanner and a trio of dachshunds. You can find out more on her blog and on Twitter @snbeach.

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