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Are you a whitelist or a blacklist guy?

A new teacher asked me that the other day, looking for a read on how I filter content and my general attitude on installing applications. Suffice to say I'm a blacklist guy.
christopher-dawson.jpg

A new teacher asked me that the other day, looking for a read on how I filter content and my general attitude on installing applications. Suffice to say I'm a blacklist guy. Certainly in a middle and high school setting, as kids become more sophisticated and instructional needs become more diverse, it simply makes sense to block out the worst of the worst and then give teachers more responsibility when students start accessing the Internet.

I tend to be fairly laissez-faire in terms of applications, as well. I only have two real concerns with applications:

  1. Are they licensed?
  2. Are they malware?

I don't let folks install Weatherbug, for example. I'm a complete weather geek myself, but Weatherbug generates too much traffic and is fairly insidious. Plenty of teachers, especially at the elementary level, also have random CD-ROMs floating around their classrooms. No matter how useful the software might be to their kids, I simply can't have a single Reader Rabbit CD used to install Reader Rabbit throughout a lab.

That's about it, though. Particularly as teachers become trained and increasingly savvy, I really maintain that it makes more sense to empower them and let them use what they need in class. All I generally ask is to be kept informed so that I can evaluate licensing issues and be able to consider purchases based on needs, requirements, and existing software.

That isn't to say that I commit myself to supporting everything anyone wants to toss on a computer. On the contrary, I have a specific set of applications that teachers and administrators know I'll support. Beyond that, if they're smart and empowered enough to install new educational applications, then they better be smart and empowered enough to support the application and not need any training.

How about you?

[poll id=84]

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