Enter our anonymous web pages: they're still beautiful, but no one knows who we are!

Please contact elitism by default

Once upon a time, Mrs. Johnson had a web site for her students in R5. She made sure that everybody had something on it. At the end of the year, we all read it together. We know how to read "illustrated by" from our book reports. We all could read each others' names and see each others' faces and look at each others' pictures and be proud of ourselves and our work. First graders learned how to click on links to turn pages. We were cool and it was beautiful. We could teach our parents how to look at and use a web page. It is something we are both interested in. It is a good place to go on the web.

Then Mrs. Johnson told the office about it. A lot of them visited our pages and didn't even sign the guest book. They didn't see the beauty. They didn't thank her like we did. They could only see "maybe-problems" and yelled* at Mrs. Johnson:

Subject: Websites
Date: Wed, 09 Sep 1998 13:46:30 -0700
From: T.C. @ WSD, a school district in Orange County California (name witheld to protect the technophobic)
To: AliMcJ@tripod.net

Allison,

Thanks for e-mailing your website address and information. Next week at the Superintendent's Cabinet meeting, we will be discussing developing guidelines for our teachers to use when creating and maintaining websites. There are several potential problems, the most serious being the posting of PICTURES of our kids on the sites. At the very least, PLEASE make sure you have signed parental authorizations on file for the students you have posted thus far.

Thanks,
Trish C.

Mrs. Johnson can't get permission slips for our faces now because we're not in her class this year. That's another "maybe-problem." Now we can't read each others' names. Now we can't see each others' faces.

That's too bad, but we feel sorrier for people who can only see problems, even when we show them something beautiful.

Mrs. Johnson says, "Well, heck; the poor thing can't even spell my name right. We were studying in a classroom two stars short of minimum standards, and I'm trying to drag these people kicking and screaming into the 21st century?"

...and isn't this typical of education these days: we have people who haven't got the slightest idea of basic Netiquette not only participating in meetings to decide what constitutes acceptable use in the district but actually managing the site? I'm well out of it, lads, well out of it. I'm not even going to bother to tell them they needn't spend a week in meetings reinventing the wheel when LAUSD has already developed excellent Acceptable Use Guidelines, to which I referred in revising the site. Since my page is neither linked from theirs nor have I returned to work there, I don't really need to conform to whatever they decide their guidelines are. As of 2 October, they are apparently still wasting taxpayer money trying to come up with an answer; in the process, they have decided that it would be best not to post an e-mail address, so that, for one, they won't have to deal with suggestions from teachers who have embraced the new millenium.

As posted on the following pages, they will assume no responsibility for any lapses in discretion on my part; by the same token, it needs be known that all of the work done on these pages is that of myself and my students, done on my own time and at my own expense, as an educational labor of love for those students and their families, utilizing the latest in educational technology, in compliance with federal guidelines in spite of the district Luddites, who wholeheartedly accept with open arms the federal funding for the technology on which they turn their backs. Ohhhh, duhhhh, am I dumb. The funding goes into paying salaries in these meetings to devise acceptable use policies. Oh, duhhhh.

Have a meeting....
It's the practical alternative to having a life.

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