Blocked websites, drama and connectiveness oh my

Today started off with lots of drama. I went to school early knowing I needed to finish up last night’s work in rearranging the classroom. Just as well as I discovered that the ethernet cable I laid (and duct taped) was faulty. No problems replacing it and firing up the computers. I flicked onto the internet and thought my eyes were deceiving me – Watchdog had blocked my home page on my classroom computers. Thinking I’d clicked on some strange link I tried again – still the same blocked message.

“Oh FLip” I thought (ok – that’s not exactly what I thought but I’m sure your imagination can fill in the appropriate words!) I went over to the office and expressed my dismay to Mike, our principal. After some investigation we discovered that Watchdog had blocked Blogger/Blogspot – Mike had a blog there which was also blocked – not just my pages.

Mike phoned Watchdog and left a message and I went back to my classroom to get the day started. Luckily today is Friday and we start the day out of the classroom with syndicate singing, Jump Jam and usually (but not today) School Assembly.

By the time we got back to the classroom and check the website it had been unblocked! The cheer from my students almost raised the roof.

The rest of the day went well apart from me forgetting to send student portfolios home (will do that on Monday.) Here are a few glimpses of my rearranged classroom.

I stood on a chair to get this shot – gives you an idea of the four radial groups each with desktop comps and the two group without comps.

Another shot of the radial groups.

One of the groups brainstorming – trying out the Wallwisher brainstorming site.

This group was planning today’s skype session. They read the guidelines and wrote their script and assigned tasks. (And did a fantastic job – we had problems with skype and they remained patient throughout the whole session.)

Two groups have no desktop computers. I brought in my personal iBook for a group to use – they had a quick lesson in how to use a mac and away they went. (When I first got a laptop under the teacher scheme I was very precious about it – I still am – but for this I’m making an exception and until I can get another computer I will supply my own.)

This group is working on my teacher laptop (MacBook).

So the day turned out ok. But oh my … what on earth possessed Watchdog to block Blogger/Blogspot overnight?

2 thoughts on “Blocked websites, drama and connectiveness oh my

  • June 12, 2009 at 8:14 pm
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    Congratulations on the new configuration of your room! It looks great and I’m sure it will work out well. How did the children cope today? At my old school we had a heap of sites blocked from watch dog and I rang and complained and said I wasn’t paying their account unless they unblocked them! Hence got my way! I look forward to hearing how the “inspired” room layout works with your children – and am hoping you will get a couple more desktops – you will have to get Mark onto Pub Charity!
    all the best!
    Justine (@digitallearnin)

  • June 12, 2009 at 8:33 pm
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    Ah the joys of having an offsite firewall.. that’s awesome that you managed to get it unblocked so quickly. We have similar issues at times with Schoolzone/Sina.
    Your classroom is looking great by the way.. I’ve been following the changes you’re making and have been inspired. I’m planning to change mine to incorporate similar access to computers for each group will try and get some photos :).

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