CCK08: useless computer rooms

(Translation in Italian)

The blogroom materializes in one of our classrooms when needs arise. Yesterday I was in Empoli to discuss with some students. The university centre is new there and it is outfitted with advanced facilities, such as a sparkling computer room, the Aula Multimediale. We met there of course, being digital literacy the subject of the course for these students.

Our computer room
Our computer room

However, we used the Aula Multimediale as a normal classroom because we needed to use Web 2.0 tools and they were all blocked. When I had to show a couple of things to the students we went outside where, just in front of the institute, there is a nice gazebo were the signal strength was sufficient for my modem.

When I went home and browsed the news I found one in Stephen‘s OLDaily about the practice to block Web 2.0 tools in schools! This note points to an interesting article by Suzie Boss where I learned that the problem is very common all over the world.

I would feel like a crook by ignoring the exploding Web 2.0 world in a digital literacy course. So, we base our  course on these tools and the results seems to be quite good.

As a matter of fact, I’m escaping from the university in the sense that I do not need (almost) anymore servers, technical people to maintain and manage them, I do not need (almost) anymore funds. Ah what a liberation, no more competition for funds! Very often we use the classrooms to make lectures and to talk together; then everybody goes home to work and we meet in the blogroom. Not so bad after all.

Unfortunately, there is a caveat there. The large majority has an online access at home but not everybody! There are many students that live just in a room because they come from other towns or from abroad. From another post pointed by Suzie Boss:

Sooner or later someone is going to expect my students to be able to quickly and effortlessly post to a blog, add to a wiki, or collaborate via some sort of social networking protocol. And once again, my school will have failed to prepare them for such a task.

I’m aware that this is the case for a part of my students and even if I try to find some remedies  the problem remains basically unsolved.

I think we should advocate for open access in educational institutions, otherwise computer rooms and similar facilities are almost useless with two serious drawbacks:

  1. waist of money
  2. lack of social justice.

Thanks to the students that allowed me to publish the picture 🙂

4 thoughts on “CCK08: useless computer rooms

  1. Keith Lyons ha detto:

    Andreas

    I have always though that education is THE place for innovative thought and practice. Once I left the firewall of a bureaucratic organisation the richness of Web 2.0 and the possibilities of Web 3.0 jumped out at me.

    Ironically I could not have followed the CCK08 course in my former institution. Like you my classroom is the strength of my wireless connection.

    Thank you for the post.

    Keith

  2. suifaijohnmak ha detto:

    Hi Iamarif,
    I am sorry that I couldn’t read Italian, but I would like to learn.
    It’s a common practice to block the website of Facebook, Youtube, Second Life and Myspace in educational institutions, including mine. There are reasons such as protection of students against intrusion, and a duty of care for them.
    And I agree with you that open access in educational institutions would greatly assist students in the learning process, though restriction to some of the adult sites should still be maintained for security reasons. Perhaps, educational versions of social networking tools could be developed for such purposes. May have to wait and see
    Thanks for your sharing. And I am glad to meet you on this space.
    Cheers.
    John Mak http://suifaijohnmak.wordpress.com

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