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Government disables educational blog


From Alan Levine (CogDog):

Sometime last year before my trip to Australia, I discovered the amazing work Al Upton was doing with year 3 students at at Adelaide Australia primary school. The 8 and 9 year old “miniLegends” were blogging, doing creative writing, and getting a fabulous experience in web technology.

So it was exciting this year when Al put out a call via twitter for educators around the world to be “coaches” for this year’s miniLegends, asking people to adopt one students and agree to provide regular comments/feedback. Besides signing up myself, I echoed the call and a bunch of folks, particularly my colleagues here in Arizona, stepped right up.

Oh don’t worry, my little predator-wary friends:

Al had written before how he had taught students how to be safe online and how he had gotten written permission from parents of all the kids. Let me repeat this- the parents supported this program.

The Government’s response:

This blog has been disabled in compliance with DECS wishes (Department of Education and Children’s Services – South Australia)

It seems that this blog in particular is being investigated regarding risk and management issues. What procedures should be taken for the use/non-use of blogs to enhance student learning will be considered.

You can leave a comment on Al’s closed blog.

Way to go, for preparing the next generation for the new digital economy. Or not.

Hat tip: Nick Hodge

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

7 thoughts on “Government disables educational blog

  1. I spoke to Al on our latest podcast….

    http://extraordinary.thepodcastnetwork.com/2008/03/20/extraordinary-everyday-lives-044-al-upton-and-the-minilegends/

    Dave

  2. Too bad to read that the government are putting obstacles to the ones who truly want to make a difference.

  3. Have only just cottoned onto this. Absolutely ludicrous! Risk mitigation and participatory models are *not* mutually exclusive. Five minutes Googling best practice will demonstrate that.

    Short sighted idiots. This is lazy, reductive and doomed to failure.

    Venessa Paech’s last blog post..Roundtable washup

  4. Uptonismn
    • Is the act of convincing another to believe information that is not true, or not the whole truth as in certain types of half-truths, or through omission.
    • Concealing the truth, or in the case of half-truths, concealing parts of the truth, like inconvenient or secret information to further one’s own career regardless of the risk to others. .
    • Exhibiting false information… fabrication (making up a load of hog wash to distract interested or concerned parties)
    • To make something that in reality is not what it appears to be.
    Example; a blogging site made by a teacher for his year 3 students in Adelaide was sold to the parents by the teacher as an extremely safe site, fully password protected and that the teacher was a competent e- teacher. The complete opposite was the truth. The site the children were signed up to by the parents was not the site agreed upon in the slightest. Along with many other concerns; child exclusion from activities and the threat of permanent removal of children from the class was a way of gaining signatures from parents and full participation from children. All concerns from parents were discarded by the teacher and information sought was convoluted and misleading. The children were used as pawns to further the teachers own personal gain regardless of the obvious safety risks to children and distress to the families. After an independent investigation by the Department of Education and Child Services into the site and the teachers conduct, the site was ordered not to be reopened under the same conditions.
    The teacher has campaigned online to blame the parents (while the children of the parents were still in his care) and has never apologised, admitted the mistakes he made or taken any responsibility for what he did. Unfortunately the teacher has never released the truth to his supporters.
    This behavior is called an act of Uptonismn
    The Adelaide teacher’s blogging site for children was ordered not to be reopened due to extreme gross mismanagement, misleading information to parents and an unsafe online environment. The teacher conveyed the opposite to what was happening to all parents for the purpose of gaining signatures for the exploitation of the children to further the e-teachers career. Major risks identified and forwarded in writing and discussed in person by a large group of parents consisted of high levels of child identification (discarded by the teacher), inaccurate and misleading- permission slip, inappropriate material viewed by children(nudity and vulgar language), stranger contact (adults) overseas and alarmingly in Adelaide without parent knowledge. “Forgot to mention that” was the teachers’ response to all the parents regarding interaction with strangers online. “Anyway, what are you scared of?” was another. Remember these children are year 3.
    The teacher said he knew all the adults the children had been interacting with and he thoroughly checks them out. An investigation of the teachers mentor recruitment practices revealed this not to be the case at all- far from it. Two requests by a parent on behalf of others to have the strangers’ police checked were rejected by the teacher. The teacher said “if that was to happen it wouldn’t get off the ground”. All this and more (withheld at present) continued, until help arrived in the form of an investigation.
    The teacher also lost the children’s passwords, along with a failed verbal reassurance regarding the sites safety and management prior to the signatures. All this was quickly supported by the Department of Education and Child Services after a full investigation starting with the police. The site was closed by the teacher before the investigation because he refused to listen to the parents concerns and wanted to run it his way or now way at all. DECS ordered the site not to be re-opened until all basic safety guidelines and management of the site was improved.
    To gain support, the teacher later published online a permission slip with the inclusion of mentoring (adult interaction); this was not the original permission slip signed by the parents). Unfortunately many people worldwide are totally unaware of the truth due to the gross misleading conduct of the e-teacher.
    The teacher needs to be honest with his supporters who have blindly supported him online and made strong comments towards the unfortunate parents of his class who have experienced a huge amount of stress. All evidence is available to support every part of the above annotations therefore he will need to be very accurate with his responses to any of this document.

    To add;
    • The children who wanted their online photo removed were faced with the following. The teacher said that permanent removal of children from their respective classroom has been discussed- for non involvement. So removal of the child from the class was mentioned by the teacher if a the child decided against placing his photo or blurred photo online. Teacher said he couldn’t afford a snow ball effect.
    • Ongoing publishing of one sided self supporting comments also directed towards the parents. Parents have felt bullied online by the teacher. Hypocritical conduct considering the teacher’s position as a self professed e- teacher ,responsible for teaching the kids about the correct and safe ways to use the internet. The teacher comes across as nice as pie though.
    • The teacher amazingly published online and distributed the formula to calculate each child’s login and password. Safe and savvy is his catches cry.
    • Early concerns placed in writing (email) from a large group of parents (before the closure) were discarded by the teacher; former principal verified this.
    • The teacher has publicly denied ever being contacted by anyone with concerns with the site. As you can see, this is clearly not the case.

    More to Come

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