One of the fun realities of providing access to powerful technologies is that students often use them in ways you didn’t imagine. Now, it’s easy to see that the previous sentence could lead to a positive, constructive, socially-acceptable description of technology use in schools. But, it does not.

In using an Apple Blog/Wiki server that authenticates users to Active Directory, students have found a way to use the blog comment area as a chat section. One district described it this way:

Since we have our users in AD, we use generic student accounts. STU005 STU006, etc. The kids are using the comments in the blog as a form of chat during the class. They login as stu005 and then post a comment. All comments are moderated, but the user can still see their comments while they wait. Can we “blacklist” our student accounts from entering comments?

What do you think of the blacklist response to student accounts? An opportunity for conversation, or yet another strike against providing access to disruptive technologies in schools?

Yesterday, a group of school district representatives met in Alamo Heights ISD to discuss Apple Server stuff. Some of the folks included, as this email from Maria Henderson (Apple) indicates, are now sharing their expertise.

Thanks for your participation today as that is what will continue to make this a wonderful group. Don’t hesitate to post your thoughts, your ideas, your expertise. I see the potential for great work here. Please continue to contribute back to our wiki as you learn. I promise to do the same.

Isn’t it wonderful to be able to encounter a problem and know that there is a talented group of folks ready to help?

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