Another dot in the blogosphere?

Backwards in more ways than one

Posted on: October 8, 2013

I read this article recently, School Districts Force Students to Downgrade iPads to iOS 6.

One reason for the backward move was to get control back of what should be individualized tools. The other was for remote management. I see the importance of the latter but am not sympathetic of the former.

The technological solution to ban or filter rarely works. The only things you teach kids with that approach is that they cannot be trusted and they do not know how to think critically.

If Ethiopian kids can hack OLPCs within five months with no instruction, overcoming firewalls and bypassing restrictions is nothing to kids on the other side of the divide.

I am not saying we should remove filters totally. I am saying that a socio-technical system is better, emphasis on the social component. This could include a crowdsourced acceptable use policy and documentation of consequences of breaking the rules.

We should teach kids to be their own filters.

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