I've been using del.i.cious and find this a great tool especially for new teachers to help them organize all their favorites. I am going to introduce this to more teachers in the school but administration seems to have a bad feeling about this.
How do I convince administration that it is beneficial for the teachers to use del.i.cious? Please help. I truly appreciate it.
I also wonder about the dangers? I am not sure if every user needs to have an account just to use your bookmarks, but I don't think so. To me, this is much easier than having students remember URLs or having to bookmark sites on computers. I could see if each student needed an account, then they could access a LOT of stuff on their own, but to just use your bookmarks seems like a no-brainer.
You have to educate the administration. Often they are much harder to teach than the kids. Set up an account for them and teach them how to use it. Start small, but show them how it can make their job easier.
Another strategy is to get parents involved. Administrators have a hard time telling a group of parents no. If you can get the parents on your side, things will go better. Good luck, I'm pulling for ya. We're all in this together ya know!
Well one of the points I would use is that it is far safer to have students accessing sites that have been pre-screened by the teachers than just googling any old thing. Not only would you be able to create this resource for students but it could be used for collaboration among staff as well.
Thanks to all for your response. After taking your advice and after showing administration how to use del.i.cious for teachers to use, administration still isn't quite "alright" with it.
One of the things that was a concern was sharing bookmarks of websites that may not be appropriate for classroom learning. We are a Catholic school so as you can imagine, there are more than the usual restrictions. I offered the "private" bookmarking as a solution.
I always advise teachers to pre-screen the site prior to showing it to the students. That way, they won't be in a very uncomfortable situation.
Another point of concern was do the teachers in your school sign-up for this online tools such as del.i.cious using the SCHOOL PROVIDED EMAIL ADDRESS? or are they allowed to sign-up using their own personal emails?
Does your school administration ask for your username and passwords for these online tools that you have signed-up for, resources that you use for classroom instructions, professional learning development resources?
We're discussing the same issue. With more and more external services available that can have educational benefits but are used to conduct school business in some way, do we require a school email be used to sign up? Do we require some level of info to be shared with the district in case something goes wrong and we at the district level need to deal with it somehow? I certainly don't want to get into the business of asking for the personal account info of staff but if the district is liable for school business conducted on these sites or if we need to act in a way that protects one or more students, we need to be able to deal with it if the staff member is not available or unwilling to do so. Challenging questions...
You should never give your password to anyone under any circumstances. If administration owns the resource they can get/reset your password if they need it. They do not own delicious and therefore should not have access to your password.
So how do we treat services that the district doesn't own or have control over? If it is used to conduct school business, should the district have some responsibility over how it's used and therefore some level of access? Or should it be considered a teacher's private resource and have sole access to it?
As a district you can block it if you are uncomfortable with it. But, if you allow it, you have to trust the teachers that use it as professionals. If they overstep or misuse their professional resources in any way you would discipline an individual teacher.
This is hardly the case for something like delicious.com, delicious just allows you to share web resources that you like with yourself (anywhere you may be), a group (of chosen members, or that you chose to join), or everyone.
If a teacher used a pencil inappropriately you would not ban pencils just that teacher, think of delicious.com the same way.
I agree that delicious itself is not a likely issue but we as a district are trying to develop direction for how to handle any such service not within district control. We want to address this without having to name every possible site out there because there are too many and the list changes all the time. So that's why I've been kind of veering off on this thread to services in general, not specifically about delicious.
We recognize the potential value in many of these services but also recognize that there are potential issues. Any reasonable person will recognize that there are both benefits and risks. I think the benefits outweigh the risks but we would be foolish to ignore the risks and not look to provide a safety net to reduce the likelihood of problems or of the impact of problems should they arise.
Yes, we should and do trust teachers to be professionals. In the infrequent case of teachers, students, and even administrators making a mistake, we need a way for the impact of that mistake to be corrected quickly. If someone holds the only set of keys (so to speak) and that person is not able or willing to correct the problem, then how does the problem become corrected? This becomes very important if the issue somehow negatively affects a student. At the least, it could be an embarrassment for someone or harm someone's reputation. At most a mistake could be dangerous or a violation of law.
I've heard the "pencil" argument before and it is not fully applicable because of differences in scope of the tool. If someone makes a mistake with a pencil, the scope of that mistake is likely minimal. If someone makes a mistake online, there is the potential for anyone in the world to see that mistake within seconds of being posted. Which one holds a greater potential risk and thus requires more intentionality and care? I'm not advocating banning, just being deliberate about how we proceed.
Sometimes people only see black and white options... block it all or allow it all. I haven't been talking about banning things. I want to enable positive use of these tools but mitigate the potential risks and negative consequences. Granted the majority of people will not make the kinds of mistakes we're talking about here. I just want to make sure that when they happen (and they have and will happen), that the negative impact is minimal.
Sorry for being so long... it's something I'm thinking a lot about right now. :-)