45:15 minutes (10.37 MB)
It's happening in small, geographically dispersed schools in rural Alaska. Three people are responsible for doing it
for over a million public school students in New York City. An
independent school in Milwaukee uses the same software that is being
used in NYC to do it. In Colorado, an outspoken opponent of it
was recently hired for a district level job, and now he is on a small
committee that gives the thumbs up or down. In North Dakota, a secret
password is emailed each week to a group of thirty teachers who can
then undo it in their schools,
when needed. In rural Virginia, a teacher carefully measures her
arguments for the educational benefit against the possible risks each
time she requests for it to be undone. Because so many schools do it
in so many different ways, the developers of VoiceThread have to work
overtime to keep their Web 2.0 tool available in public schools.
In September, Wesley Fryer "observed from China that the level of content filtering / censorship enforced by the central, totalitarian government was actually LESS severe than the content filtering enforced in many U.S. public schools" (Content filtering in Communist China versus an Oklahoma school » Moving at the Speed of Creativity).
Really? Do the descriptions in the first paragraph accurately represent the tyranny of filtering in U.S. schools today? Or do teachers have more power than we often exercise? It's become too easy for educators to represent filtering as if it's something that oppresses us. What if we find that the enemy is us?
From the discussion captured on this podcast, we can sketch a much more complicated picture of how filtering really seems to work in U.S. schools. See what we mean by clicking Read more, below.