Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Back Side of Web Blockers


In a good example of the double-edged sword of web blockers, I posed a veiled challenge to my kids a week or two ago. We were getting ready for our quarterly benchmark tests and I knew we hadn't talked about tides yet in science and that it was going to be on the test, and I was running short on time. Hence, I wrote the following on the board: Find a video online that describes to you how tides work. Then embed that video in a blog post. I have never done any of those things with the kids before, but I wanted to see what/how they'd do :-)

Not surprisingly, they knew exactly how to find videos, but they also know that youtube is blocked. So, immediately, one kid raises his hand and asks what to do, since youtube was blocked. I said, "Figure it out," knowing that 1) there are plenty of other places to find videos online, and 2) there are even more proxys available which get you around web blockers to the blocked site. 30 seconds after the first kid raised his hand, someone else goes, "Got it! I'm in!" They found a proxy (several actually) that worked, and others used various other sources. Eventually, everyone got a basic idea of how tides work, though we ran out of time for the embedding bit. I'll try that again some other time :-) Then, to guarantee that everyone had the same understanding I wanted them to have, I showed them this high-quality video from HowStuffWorks, which helped out as well. Yay for technology!

4 comments:

Jesus =]] said...

I went to borman 2006-09 , and every year the "websense" page came up. But it wasn't long before we bypassed it. They would block most proxies but it wasn't to long before we found another one Lol. They think we're stupid and we're actually smarter than them Lol. Well in high school computers are tracked because each student gets a login password and username ,nothing is blocked but they're watching you.

Dierdre said...

Thanks for the comment Jesus! So which would you say is more useful? Web blockers or being tracked via login?

Jesus =]] said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jesus =]] said...

I'd rather have beautiful blue websense logo come up, Lol because with that we have a hope with the login they see everything we do. Once was in class and the teacher that was and the other side ,starts moving my mouse a controlin my computer and closed myspace Lol I was like what the heck , :O