EDTECH 541: The Walled Garden

This week is about social media and using it to engage the students. To motivate us for the blogging assignment, we read a blog / wiki addition, http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/W/walled_garden.html about a Walled Garden- the idea of keeping people safe from the hazardous information on the web. I actually like that metaphor because it is like we want to protect individuals. I actually do agree that with schools, there needs to be some firewall to protect students and to help prevent them from the temptation of goofing off when they should be getting work done.

One thing that rung for me, however, is the situation in North Korea and China. I recently watched a news segment published by DW, a German television network, who had a highly censored trip to North Korea. I got the impression people in North Korea don’t even know the Internet exists, nor do they have a clue why they would even want to know anything about any other country. Again, North Korea highly controlled where the German news media could go and who they could talk to so what I saw was even very limited. North Korea is not behind a sweet walled garden; they are behind a fortress. China knows there is an Internet, but from what I understand, they have items censored and are limited to what they can access online. I do not want the extreme of either of these situations for our students.

If anything, I would want to block them from pornography and illicit sites. We need to teach them self control. I don’t want to block games because there are educational games online that could be blocked. I don’t want to block YouTube because I think that hurts teachers more than students, however I could go for a password protected YouTube. That is still a pain in the neck at times, though. (I used to just download the YouTube videos I wanted to show my students, and show them from a flash drive so I did not have to worry if I could even access the Internet during class time.)

I made a tiny VoiceThread presentation per our professor’s request. Fortunately I have the Boise State email address because I’m not even able to access the one I used to pay for. I can’t even access it at a free level.  Fortunately after re-reading the assignment directions, I realized that what I originally made, while creative, was not appropriate. I needed to utilize more academic resources than just the Walled Garden. While integrating the second resource, I figured out how to add more than one comment per slide, which makes me very happy.

Apparently my version of WordPress does not allow embedding.  The first link is from going into text mode (for the WordPress post) and trying to use embed code that way.

It converts iframe notation into a link, not an embedded frame.

The second link is just putting a link to the VoiceThread. I’m sorry it won’t embed or open automatically here; you will have to view it in a new window / tab.

Melissa’s Walled Garden VoiceThread

References used in the VoiceThread:

Enterprise, Q. (2015). Walled garden. Retrieved March 10, 2015, from http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/W/walled_garden.html

Making progress: Rethinking state and school district policies concerning mobile technologies and social media (Rep.). (n.d.). CoSN’s Participatory Learning in Schools: Policy & Leadership.


About Melissa

I am a former high school science teacher and recently completed a MET degree at Boise State

Posted on March 10, 2015, in EDTECH 541 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Melissa, I actually liked your use of multiple images in the VoiceThread presentation and the written explanation for each. Images are much more memorable than words and you made some great points about social media needing to be supervised, but also that it can be a struggle to convince students that working on schoolwork outside of school can actually be enjoyable with the right platform. I think as time goes on, students will gradually be more interactive and I am already seeing it this year. I have never had so many students try to call and text me to check on their assignments or ask a question. There are pros and cons to this immediate feedback, but I think the development of school outside of the classroom is important with the growing popularity of online learning.

    • Abigail, I am very happy to read that you are breaking the last-bell-rang barrier. I sincerely hope this can be a movement that will overcome the attitude of “just tell me what is going to be on the test”.

  2. I really like your analogy about North Korea. Even though our students need to be protected from some things, we need our students to be able to experience others. If we block everything our students won’t know what to do when they are exposed to inappropriate things on the internet. I think it is more important how to be a digital citizen.

    • Hi, Joanna,

      You are so correct that we need to teach students to be their own monitors. I just happened to see the documentary on North Korea and was really stunned to learn that there was a country that did not even know the Internet existed. At least China only filters content, albeit very strictly, but they can still communicate with others outside their local area.

      Thank you for sharing your opinion and enriching my Learning Log with your ideas.

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