Friday, January 25, 2008

Third Party in our Schools

YouTube is here to stay. For quite some time I imagine, and I am happy about this. I think YouTube is great. I just don't want my students searching it for content at school. I definitely think that embedding videos into your school site or blog is the way to go.
Google Docs could be a great tool for organization. It allows people who don't have microsoft word, powerpoint or excel to create documents that will work or operate like the aforementioned apps. Free. And, those absent-minded professor types won't lose their work because it can't be left at home/school/work/on the bus. It is on the 'net which means it is everywhere they are.
There are tons of online applications like, bubbleshare,, and more that allow students to put work online. Often there are even more ways to protect the privacy of their work, but there is a catch. Third party services like these are out of school's control. Once you upload stuff to them, they could do things to student work such as use it for advertising purposes. And by agreeing to use their services you are already agreeing with them doing this with student work if you wish.

I! (With a brief, somewhat apathetic shrug thrown in). The chances the FBI and Homeland Security will be interested in my grade 3's report on ants and the brazillian rainforest is pretty small. Nope, not that interesting to national security. The benefits of services like YouTube and VoiceThread far outweigh the risks. The best thing I can do is make sure parents and students are informed, but also to give my professional opinion that I think we can make good educational use of these sites, and to not worry. Just take precautions, like those I have mentioned on previous posts.

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