Under the Sea

Hi there!

I apologize for my lengthy time away from this site. I have about a million things I’ve told my students I would upload, but I’ve run into a bit of technical difficulty.

I recently discovered that I am not permitted to have an online wish list for our classroom’s needs, nor can school Web sites link to teachers’ blogs. Yet teachers largely do not have access to any district-approved Web site support. If I want to put anything online, I need to go through our office manager, who is super crazy busy and has many larger fish to fry than uploading an html page. Upper grades may use a forum-style option to engage in a dialogue with their classes, but that’s not really accessible for my students.

What to do? Well, I’ve taken the wish list down for one.

I wanted to share this information with you because I thought I had a pretty good handle on our district’s Internet policies, but it appears that I don’t, and I wanted to make sure you don’t make the same errors I did. I’ve talked with several district people in the tech department, but the ultimate answer seems to be “just don’t post anything.” I completely understand that the Internet must be a big can of worms for the folks in charge, but I also know my students are hungry to access the content we’ve talked about in class.

For example, this week we read an incredible book called The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau. My students were amazed, and thrilled to discover his Web sites: http://www.cousteau.org and http://www.cousteaukids.org .

I discovered that we could become a sponsored classroom and receive a year’s worth of sea life magazines and teaching materials for free! If you’re a classroom teacher, I highly suggest you contact the organization. I spoke with Edna, who was just a dream. We can’t wait to receive our first issues of the magazine!

I want to be able to share this kind of information with my students and with other teachers. I’m hoping the district creates more comprehensive, open classroom Internet policies, but until then I will respectfully continue to keep my content in compliance.

Thanks for supporting our class!

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