Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: [IATEFLComputer Sig] Net nannies

Expand Messages
  • Valerie Bevan
    Thank you Geoff, To my surprise, you are the only person who has so far responded to my appeal. As an (often very bleary-eyed) spectator of the computer sig
    Message 1 of 17 , May 23, 2001
      Thank you Geoff,

      To my surprise, you are the only person who has so far responded to my
      appeal. As an (often very bleary-eyed) spectator of the computer sig group
      last summer, I had the feeling that there was an enormous body of
      international expertise to be drawn on in cases of need. I was really
      interested to read the debate about computer room layouts, for example. I'm
      surprised that there aren't more computer sig members for whom this is a
      consideration. (I wonder if it is because so many of them are in higher
      education institutions with very well-funded IT provision? Not that I'm
      envious: when you have control of a smaller facility you are often in a much
      better position to make it language-learner friendly.)

      Having a secondary school as well as an adult EFL institution under the
      umbrella of Sawston Hall, we have been using a BT ISDN schools connection --
      but not their (outrageously expensive and limiting) walled garden, which of
      course, has the net nanny among its functions. We have used Cyber Patrol to
      reassure concerned parents, as you've used your RM program -- but we also
      don't want to have game-players and chatline users blocking the use of the
      computers by students who want to use them for language learning and
      research. So we are in need of an independent net nanny, and I had really
      hoped that my question might throw up (1) a variety of possibilities at
      present available (2) concerns that specifically affect multi-lingual
      schools and that might be of interest to software developers.

      Oh well! (Sigh.)

      Valerie Bevan
      Resources Manager,
      The Cambridge Centre for Languages, SAWSTON HALL, Cambridge UK

      Our ISP is Research Machines, RM, in Abingdon, and use their Internet
      Filter, which goes through a caching system on their servers. If I remember
      right off-hand, it blocks pornographic keywords and unmodulated chat. It
      also makes mistakes and blocks "innocent" sites, especially, I think, ones
      that use "chat" as a key word, which includes quite a few.

      From what I remember when I was messing with it, it's fairly easy to get
      round the porn filters, but the chat filters are really tough.

      I've kept with it out of laziness really, as it has acted sort of like a
      security blanket for technophobic administrators, who use to reassure
      anxious parents of any underage students.

      Normally, RM's filter isn't obtrusive and doesn't make many mistakes. The
      main drawback is that it blocks chat.

      --
      Geoff Taylor
      CALL Coordinator, St Clare's, Oxford, UK
      http://www.stclares.ac.uk
      IATEFL Computer SIG Web pages editor
      http://www.paddocks64.freeserve.co.uk/CompSIG2/callsig.htm
      gjtaylor@...


      _________________________________________________________________________
      Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
    • Clive Newton
      Dear Valerie I was interested to read your comments. I know nothing about net nannies - but I am interested in the computer room layout debate as it is an
      Message 2 of 17 , May 23, 2001
        Dear Valerie
        I was interested to read your comments. I know nothing about net nannies -
        but I am interested in the computer room layout debate as it is an issue of
        computer room methodology. I do not recall previous references to this
        issue though. It seems clear to me that the best arrangement is to have
        computers around the side of the room with a central table - and moveable
        swivel chairs plus a white board, OHT and / or data projector - for obvious
        reasons of personal interaction, getting attention etc. Then again it
        depends on what the purpose of the computer room is. If it is exclusively
        for self-study then a traditional lab arrangement would be OK. However, in
        my opinion/experience students do not use dedicated multimedia packages for
        voluntary self-study (in the same way that they often need to be pushed
        into using books for self-study) - so actually it's probably better to give
        give computer rooms the flexible potential of being used with and without a
        teacher (ie - as I said computers around the edge of the room).

        By the way I don't think it is necessarily the case that the tertiary
        sector is better endowed with computers for dedicated purposes (eg ELT).
        Many private EFL schools seem better off in fact. On the other hand -
        unless teacher directed, motivation for independent voluntary computer use
        in the private sector is arguable less than it is in the teritiary sector
        (again ELT - EAP) because private EFL school users seem less certain about
        why they need English than those at university who have a clear 'survival'
        purpose related to attaining academic qualifications. I would be interested
        to know what you mean by 'language learner friendly'. How is your 'small'
        facility used?

        By the way - couldn't get through to you on your hotmail.

        Clive Newton


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Valerie Bevan [SMTP:valeriebevan@...]
        Sent: 23 May 2001 11:34
        To: IATEFLComputerSig@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [IATEFLComputer Sig] Net nannies

        Thank you Geoff,

        To my surprise, you are the only person who has so far responded to my
        appeal. As an (often very bleary-eyed) spectator of the computer sig group
        last summer, I had the feeling that there was an enormous body of
        international expertise to be drawn on in cases of need. I was really
        interested to read the debate about computer room layouts, for example. I'm
        surprised that there aren't more computer sig members for whom this is a
        consideration. (I wonder if it is because so many of them are in higher
        education institutions with very well-funded IT provision? Not that I'm
        envious: when you have control of a smaller facility you are often in a
        much
        better position to make it language-learner friendly.)

        Having a secondary school as well as an adult EFL institution under the
        umbrella of Sawston Hall, we have been using a BT ISDN schools connection
        --
        but not their (outrageously expensive and limiting) walled garden, which of
        course, has the net nanny among its functions. We have used Cyber Patrol to
        reassure concerned parents, as you've used your RM program -- but we also
        don't want to have game-players and chatline users blocking the use of the
        computers by students who want to use them for language learning and
        research. So we are in need of an independent net nanny, and I had really
        hoped that my question might throw up (1) a variety of possibilities at
        present available (2) concerns that specifically affect multi-lingual
        schools and that might be of interest to software developers.

        Oh well! (Sigh.)

        Valerie Bevan
        Resources Manager,
        The Cambridge Centre for Languages, SAWSTON HALL, Cambridge UK

        Our ISP is Research Machines, RM, in Abingdon, and use their Internet
        Filter, which goes through a caching system on their servers. If I remember
        right off-hand, it blocks pornographic keywords and unmodulated chat. It
        also makes mistakes and blocks "innocent" sites, especially, I think, ones
        that use "chat" as a key word, which includes quite a few.

        From what I remember when I was messing with it, it's fairly easy to get
        round the porn filters, but the chat filters are really tough.

        I've kept with it out of laziness really, as it has acted sort of like a
        security blanket for technophobic administrators, who use to reassure
        anxious parents of any underage students.

        Normally, RM's filter isn't obtrusive and doesn't make many mistakes. The
        main drawback is that it blocks chat.

        --
        Geoff Taylor
        CALL Coordinator, St Clare's, Oxford, UK
        http://www.stclares.ac.uk
        IATEFL Computer SIG Web pages editor
        http://www.paddocks64.freeserve.co.uk/CompSIG2/callsig.htm
        gjtaylor@...


        _________________________________________________________________________
        Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com


        To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        IATEFLComputerSig-unsubscribe@egroups.com



        Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


        **********************************************************************
        This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and
        intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they
        are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify
        the system manager.

        This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept by
        MIMEsweeper for the presence of computer viruses.

        www.mimesweeper.com
        **********************************************************************
      • Vance Stevens
        Well, ok, I m not really an expert on this but here s one you might try. Websense at websense.com or somesuch blocks certain categories, for example blocks
        Message 3 of 17 , May 23, 2001
          Well, ok, I'm not really an expert on this but here's one you might try.
          Websense at websense.com or somesuch blocks certain categories, for example
          blocks chat only if you tell it you want that category blocked. You can
          configure it to allow blocked urls through by saying everything from such and
          such a domain is blocked even though it's in a category you've blocked, and
          conversely you can block domains you specify though you've allowed urls from
          that category. But one nice feature is the feedback to the people at Websense.
          Suppose, to site a classic example, you find it impossible to reach sites with
          essex in the url because the category sex has been blocked etc. You fill out a
          form online telling them you think they're mistaken for blocking the url you
          think shouldn't be blocked and they'll have a look and make adjustments at their
          server. One nice thing about the service is that they maintain all that at
          their end.

          Ok, sorry for keeping silent, and hope this is of some use to you,

          Vance


          Valerie Bevan wrote:

          > Thank you Geoff,
          >
          > To my surprise, you are the only person who has so far responded to my
          > appeal. As an (often very bleary-eyed) spectator of the computer sig group
          > last summer, I had the feeling that there was an enormous body of
          > international expertise to be drawn on in cases of need. I was really
          > interested to read the debate about computer room layouts, for example. I'm
          > surprised that there aren't more computer sig members for whom this is a
          > consideration. (I wonder if it is because so many of them are in higher
          > education institutions with very well-funded IT provision? Not that I'm
          > envious: when you have control of a smaller facility you are often in a much
          > better position to make it language-learner friendly.)
          >
          > Having a secondary school as well as an adult EFL institution under the
          > umbrella of Sawston Hall, we have been using a BT ISDN schools connection --
          > but not their (outrageously expensive and limiting) walled garden, which of
          > course, has the net nanny among its functions. We have used Cyber Patrol to
          > reassure concerned parents, as you've used your RM program -- but we also
          > don't want to have game-players and chatline users blocking the use of the
          > computers by students who want to use them for language learning and
          > research. So we are in need of an independent net nanny, and I had really
          > hoped that my question might throw up (1) a variety of possibilities at
          > present available (2) concerns that specifically affect multi-lingual
          > schools and that might be of interest to software developers.
          >
          > Oh well! (Sigh.)
          >
          > Valerie Bevan
          > Resources Manager,
          > The Cambridge Centre for Languages, SAWSTON HALL, Cambridge UK
          >
          > Our ISP is Research Machines, RM, in Abingdon, and use their Internet
          > Filter, which goes through a caching system on their servers. If I remember
          > right off-hand, it blocks pornographic keywords and unmodulated chat. It
          > also makes mistakes and blocks "innocent" sites, especially, I think, ones
          > that use "chat" as a key word, which includes quite a few.
          >
          > >From what I remember when I was messing with it, it's fairly easy to get
          > round the porn filters, but the chat filters are really tough.
          >
          > I've kept with it out of laziness really, as it has acted sort of like a
          > security blanket for technophobic administrators, who use to reassure
          > anxious parents of any underage students.
          >
          > Normally, RM's filter isn't obtrusive and doesn't make many mistakes. The
          > main drawback is that it blocks chat.
          >
          > --
          > Geoff Taylor
          > CALL Coordinator, St Clare's, Oxford, UK
          > http://www.stclares.ac.uk
          > IATEFL Computer SIG Web pages editor
          > http://www.paddocks64.freeserve.co.uk/CompSIG2/callsig.htm
          > gjtaylor@...
          >
          > _________________________________________________________________________
          > Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > IATEFLComputerSig-unsubscribe@egroups.com
          >
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        • Sophie and Yiannis Georgiou
          Hi! I d like to thank Vance, Geoff and Clive for responding to Valerie s request. I sympathise with Valerie in that I have often asked questions on lists where
          Message 4 of 17 , May 23, 2001
            Hi!

            I'd like to thank Vance, Geoff and Clive for responding to Valerie's request.
            I sympathise with Valerie in that I have often asked questions on lists
            where I know
            there is a lot of expertise available and yet get no answers.
            Some others who have experienced the same thing describe themselves feeling
            as if they are invisible to the rest of the community and this is indeed no
            nice feeling.

            Members are the basic ingredient forming a community so let's be a
            supportive, caring
            and sharing community!

            Some of us may try to help by replying personally to another's question.
            This, however,
            does not benefit the rest of the communtiy. Although one of us has posted
            the question,
            many may find the topic interesting and may be following the thread. Others
            may be
            shy or newcomers and are learning by following what others post.
            Replying to the list benefits the whole communtiy and your answer (for
            which you spend
            time and effort) is archived for future use.

            Hope I haven't bored you....... : )
            Sophie
          • Martin Eayrs
            All this talk about net nannies, etc., seems to hinge on the premise that blocking (censoring) students access to sites is a good thing. Is this what is
            Message 5 of 17 , May 24, 2001
              All this talk about net nannies, etc., seems to hinge on the premise
              that blocking (censoring) students' access to sites is a good thing.

              Is this what is called an open education or merely a way of
              continuing the teacher's own prejudices, however well founded the
              teacher may think/claim they are ?

              Seems to me that it might even work the other way round - and the
              kids who want to access forbidden sites and can't are only going to
              have their appetites whetted as they make a note of the link for the
              computer at home or in a friend's house or cyber cafe. Forbiden fruit
              is always so much more attractive.

              Advice on the dangers of older people trawling in chat rooms is a
              good idea - and students SHOULD be aware of the dangers - but this
              can be done by explanation, demonstration and trust .. not by banning.

              I live in Essex and many of the net nanny type filters would never
              find me if I put my address up on the web page. Could be worse though
              I suppose - nobody at all would find me on the web if I lived in
              Scunthorpe.

              Just my couple of pesos worth - replies to the list please, not to me.

              Martin


              --
              ------------------------
              Reply to: Martin Eayrs
              mailto:martin@...
              http://www.eayrs.com
            • Sophie and Yiannis Georgiou
              Hi! I do agree with Martin in the issues raised, though I think that there might be times when having a net nanny is probably a good way to ease parents
              Message 6 of 17 , May 24, 2001
                Hi!

                I do agree with Martin in the issues raised, though I think that there
                might be times when having a net nanny is probably a good way to ease
                parents' concerns.

                On the other hand, it is probably much more imporant for students to be
                trained in how to deal with
                the Internet - and all its dangers. Skills like this are the new skills
                that we have to help our students develop.
                These are the new skills life in the 21st century demands.

                Of course one could argue that young or very young students are not ready
                to deal with this.
                Nevertheless, I have never used a net nanny and have seen quite a few
                schools who don't use one.
                In schools I visited in the States, for example, during open lab time there
                is usually an assistant
                using the 'walkabout' approach. to check that the students are not abusing
                the school facilities.

                I find net nannies to be very restrictive (Vance's one seems to be a good
                way round it - but maybe a bit slow?).

                Other ways (I've sometimes used) if you are training your students to be
                responsible Internet users but you still
                want to check up on them at times:
                a) keep a record of who sits where and randomly check the history of hits
                in the browser
                b) if you have a LAN and are using a Proxy Server, then you can configure
                it to keep a
                quite big cach (e.g. a week or more). Once a week you may check the cach to
                see if there were any
                visits to 'naughty' sites.
                With both ways you may find out if students have been visiting improper
                sites and deal with it
                accordingly. A one-to-one or small group discussion may work much better
                than banning the sites.

                As far as chatting is concerned. I, personally, wouldn't want to ban chats.
                I think they can be quite
                useful for language learning if used the right way. I would choose my
                prefered chat rooms or other
                areas (e.g. MOOs), use them in my lessons and introduce them to the
                learners. Guiding the learners
                to use these selected areas is a solution that may satisfy their 'chatting
                needs' and, eventually, increase their target language input.

                Sophie
              • CKlauer
                Dear All I agree with Martin Eyars in that blocking access is not a form of open eduaction. We all know of the dangers of some content in the Internet ( most
                Message 7 of 17 , May 24, 2001
                  Dear All
                  I agree with Martin Eyars in that blocking access is not a form of open
                  eduaction. We all know of the dangers of some content in the Internet ( most
                  of it, by the way ), but denying access is just a form of censorship. The
                  question is then : who censors the censors?
                  I would like to see more responsibility being developed in a classroom than
                  just the teacher taking care or being worried about what content the kids
                  see. The aim is to make people responsible and free to choose knowing the
                  dangers, benefits, etc.
                  Cesar Klauer
                  CKlauer@...
                  Lima - Peru
                • Geoff Taylor
                  Hi Sophie and Martin and others have raised some good objections to net nannies. In my school s situation, however, I do feel there is a need for something
                  Message 8 of 17 , May 24, 2001
                    Hi

                    Sophie and Martin and others have raised some good objections to net
                    nannies.

                    In my school's situation, however, I do feel there is a need for something
                    along those lines. Our students do, in theory, agree not to use school
                    resources inappropriately, but some always will do - (young) males, in
                    particular, as part of bonding behaviour or whatever.

                    We get students mainly above but a few below the age of 18, so we need to be
                    able to give some assurances to their parents.

                    The students have free access to Internet computers outside of class time,
                    during the week and also at weekends. Providing a knowledgeable human on
                    "walkabout" for those times is a good idea but would be (too) costly.

                    In any case, I think maybe it's OK for an educational institution to aim to
                    provide an environment in which users needn't worry about being presented
                    with objectionable images. Like a library. Like Disney World. Certain types
                    of images can be upsetting for people from certain cultures, and it seems
                    reasonable to try to avoid that in a multi-cultural situation, where you
                    have West Europeans rubbing shoulders with Middle Easterners, for example.

                    In my experience, lab situations such as the ones at St Clare's are an
                    almost constant (play-)battleground. Some students seem to enjoy the fillip
                    of engaging in taboo activities and like to tease the IT manager by
                    installing rude programs and changing the desktop wallpaper to obscene
                    photos.

                    Human policing of computer/Internet use is time-consuming and, in our case,
                    ineffective. Students engaged in illicit activities, such as playing chess
                    when they ought to be doing TOEFL preparation, become adept at using the
                    task bar, etc, to mask their activities from casual view.

                    If we detected any inappropriate activity in the student computer rooms, it
                    would be very difficult to ascertain who was doing it, or even to stop it.
                    As a case in point, for a short period of time, we had some very
                    inappropriate and expensive use of the Internet on computers in the
                    teachers' staffroom, late at night. (I had no rational objection to the
                    activity, only the expense in telephone charges.) The person all
                    circumstantial fingers pointed at denied any such behaviour, and verifying
                    who was guilty would have required highly intrusive investigations, so we
                    didn't bother. Luckily, the behaviour swiftly ceased.

                    So I think we do need a Net nanny, but it would be handy to have a more
                    flexible one, and one that wasn't so anti-chat.

                    To be honest, as the school's educational computer guy, with 5 hours a week
                    (for which I'm very grateful) for a variety of projects, I have my hands
                    full just combatting Windows viruses and especially Word macro viruses.
                    Maybe I'm not up to speed with things properly, but even with Norton Anti
                    Virus installed and configured on all the computers, viruses frequently get
                    through. And the NAV can't seem to check the boot sectors unless it's in
                    adminstrator mode, which means it can't be done automatically, but has to be
                    done manually, computer by computer, very time-consuming.

                    Heck, I'm throwing out ideas.

                    --
                    Geoff Taylor
                    CALL Coordinator, St Clare's, Oxford, UK
                    http://www.stclares.ac.uk
                    IATEFL Computer SIG Web pages editor
                    http://www.paddocks64.freeserve.co.uk/CompSIG2/callsig.htm
                    gjtaylor@...
                  • Stephen O'Sullivan
                    This point about the limited response to online discussion issues seems to be a pretty pervasive feature of other discussion groups I m in. I haven t written
                    Message 9 of 17 , May 25, 2001
                      This point about the limited response to online discussion issues seems to be a
                      pretty pervasive "feature" of other discussion groups I'm in. I haven't written
                      anything on this list for about three years. I guess that like many - it's
                      similar in a face-to-face forum - things like bashfulness, don't want to make a
                      fool of yourself in front of a body of international expertise, nothing that
                      significant to say, don't want to give good ideas away (!), got burnt once
                      before etc. are major reasons why people don't feel they will contribute much. I
                      know, I'm a wimp.

                      R.S.V.P. (Reply if it pleases you)

                      Steve.

                      Valerie Bevan wrote:

                      > Thank you Geoff,
                      >
                      > To my surprise, you are the only person who has so far responded to my
                      > appeal. As an (often very bleary-eyed) spectator of the computer sig group
                      > last summer, I had the feeling that there was an enormous body of
                      > international expertise to be drawn on in cases of need. I was really
                      > interested to read the debate about computer room layouts, for example. I'm
                      > surprised that there aren't more computer sig members for whom this is a
                      > consideration. (I wonder if it is because so many of them are in higher
                      > education institutions with very well-funded IT provision? Not that I'm
                      > envious: when you have control of a smaller facility you are often in a much
                      > better position to make it language-learner friendly.)
                      >
                      > Having a secondary school as well as an adult EFL institution under the
                      > umbrella of Sawston Hall, we have been using a BT ISDN schools connection --
                      > but not their (outrageously expensive and limiting) walled garden, which of
                      > course, has the net nanny among its functions. We have used Cyber Patrol to
                      > reassure concerned parents, as you've used your RM program -- but we also
                      > don't want to have game-players and chatline users blocking the use of the
                      > computers by students who want to use them for language learning and
                      > research. So we are in need of an independent net nanny, and I had really
                      > hoped that my question might throw up (1) a variety of possibilities at
                      > present available (2) concerns that specifically affect multi-lingual
                      > schools and that might be of interest to software developers.
                      >
                      > Oh well! (Sigh.)
                      >
                      > Valerie Bevan
                      > Resources Manager,
                      > The Cambridge Centre for Languages, SAWSTON HALL, Cambridge UK
                      >
                      > Our ISP is Research Machines, RM, in Abingdon, and use their Internet
                      > Filter, which goes through a caching system on their servers. If I remember
                      > right off-hand, it blocks pornographic keywords and unmodulated chat. It
                      > also makes mistakes and blocks "innocent" sites, especially, I think, ones
                      > that use "chat" as a key word, which includes quite a few.
                      >
                      > >From what I remember when I was messing with it, it's fairly easy to get
                      > round the porn filters, but the chat filters are really tough.
                      >
                      > I've kept with it out of laziness really, as it has acted sort of like a
                      > security blanket for technophobic administrators, who use to reassure
                      > anxious parents of any underage students.
                      >
                      > Normally, RM's filter isn't obtrusive and doesn't make many mistakes. The
                      > main drawback is that it blocks chat.
                      >
                      > --
                      > Geoff Taylor
                      > CALL Coordinator, St Clare's, Oxford, UK
                      > http://www.stclares.ac.uk
                      > IATEFL Computer SIG Web pages editor
                      > http://www.paddocks64.freeserve.co.uk/CompSIG2/callsig.htm
                      > gjtaylor@...
                      >
                      > _________________________________________________________________________
                      > Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
                      >
                      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      > IATEFLComputerSig-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Rodolfo Cares
                      Hi, I think responsiveness to different issues raised by other list members depend on a number of factors, some of which might be whether you feel or not you
                      Message 10 of 17 , May 27, 2001
                        Hi,

                        I think responsiveness to different issues raised by
                        other list members depend on a number of factors, some
                        of which might be whether you feel or not you have the
                        experience in the matter itself and sometimes to how
                        it directly relates to the job you are in...whether it
                        triggers a discussion on a situation that it is
                        relevant to you now...or whether you just feel like
                        reading what others have to say rather than to express
                        yourself which is a much more active role...

                        regards

                        Rodolfo Cares
                        Sydney, Australia

                        --- Stephen O'Sullivan <stephen.osullivan@...>
                        wrote: > This point about the limited response to
                        online
                        > discussion issues seems to be a
                        > pretty pervasive "feature" of other discussion
                        > groups I'm in. I haven't written
                        > anything on this list for about three years. I guess
                        > that like many - it's
                        > similar in a face-to-face forum - things like
                        > bashfulness, don't want to make a
                        > fool of yourself in front of a body of international
                        > expertise, nothing that
                        > significant to say, don't want to give good ideas
                        > away (!), got burnt once
                        > before etc. are major reasons why people don't feel
                        > they will contribute much. I
                        > know, I'm a wimp.
                        >
                        > R.S.V.P. (Reply if it pleases you)
                        >
                        > Steve.
                        >
                        > Valerie Bevan wrote:
                        >
                        > > Thank you Geoff,
                        > >
                        > > To my surprise, you are the only person who has so
                        > far responded to my
                        > > appeal. As an (often very bleary-eyed) spectator
                        > of the computer sig group
                        > > last summer, I had the feeling that there was an
                        > enormous body of
                        > > international expertise to be drawn on in cases of
                        > need. I was really
                        > > interested to read the debate about computer room
                        > layouts, for example. I'm
                        > > surprised that there aren't more computer sig
                        > members for whom this is a
                        > > consideration. (I wonder if it is because so many
                        > of them are in higher
                        > > education institutions with very well-funded IT
                        > provision? Not that I'm
                        > > envious: when you have control of a smaller
                        > facility you are often in a much
                        > > better position to make it language-learner
                        > friendly.)
                        > >
                        > > Having a secondary school as well as an adult EFL
                        > institution under the
                        > > umbrella of Sawston Hall, we have been using a BT
                        > ISDN schools connection --
                        > > but not their (outrageously expensive and
                        > limiting) walled garden, which of
                        > > course, has the net nanny among its functions. We
                        > have used Cyber Patrol to
                        > > reassure concerned parents, as you've used your RM
                        > program -- but we also
                        > > don't want to have game-players and chatline users
                        > blocking the use of the
                        > > computers by students who want to use them for
                        > language learning and
                        > > research. So we are in need of an independent net
                        > nanny, and I had really
                        > > hoped that my question might throw up (1) a
                        > variety of possibilities at
                        > > present available (2) concerns that specifically
                        > affect multi-lingual
                        > > schools and that might be of interest to software
                        > developers.
                        > >
                        > > Oh well! (Sigh.)
                        > >
                        > > Valerie Bevan
                        > > Resources Manager,
                        > > The Cambridge Centre for Languages, SAWSTON HALL,
                        > Cambridge UK
                        > >
                        > > Our ISP is Research Machines, RM, in Abingdon, and
                        > use their Internet
                        > > Filter, which goes through a caching system on
                        > their servers. If I remember
                        > > right off-hand, it blocks pornographic keywords
                        > and unmodulated chat. It
                        > > also makes mistakes and blocks "innocent" sites,
                        > especially, I think, ones
                        > > that use "chat" as a key word, which includes
                        > quite a few.
                        > >
                        > > >From what I remember when I was messing with it,
                        > it's fairly easy to get
                        > > round the porn filters, but the chat filters are
                        > really tough.
                        > >
                        > > I've kept with it out of laziness really, as it
                        > has acted sort of like a
                        > > security blanket for technophobic administrators,
                        > who use to reassure
                        > > anxious parents of any underage students.
                        > >
                        > > Normally, RM's filter isn't obtrusive and doesn't
                        > make many mistakes. The
                        > > main drawback is that it blocks chat.
                        > >
                        > > --
                        > > Geoff Taylor
                        > > CALL Coordinator, St Clare's, Oxford, UK
                        > > http://www.stclares.ac.uk
                        > > IATEFL Computer SIG Web pages editor
                        > >
                        >
                        http://www.paddocks64.freeserve.co.uk/CompSIG2/callsig.htm
                        > > gjtaylor@...
                        > >
                        > >
                        >
                        _________________________________________________________________________
                        > > Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at
                        > http://www.hotmail.com
                        > >
                        > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                        > > IATEFLComputerSig-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                        > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been
                        > removed]
                        >
                        >
                        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                        > IATEFLComputerSig-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                        > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        >
                        >


                        ____________________________________________________________
                        Do You Yahoo!?
                        Get your free @... address at http://mail.yahoo.co.uk
                        or your free @... address at http://mail.yahoo.ie
                      • Rodolfo Cares
                        Perhaps a good idea to restrict students to access objectionable material is to set for an interface where they can not install or modify settings...such an
                        Message 11 of 17 , May 27, 2001
                          Perhaps a good idea to restrict students to access
                          objectionable material is to set for an interface
                          where they can not install or modify settings...such
                          an example of interface is NT which can be set to bar
                          any sort of installation or access to settings...I'm
                          pretty sure that there are other even better
                          alternatives now since NT is already an oldie. I have
                          heard many opinions about software like nannies are
                          not foolproof and there can always be ways of
                          bypassing them...

                          Regards,,

                          Rodolfo Cares
                          Sydney Australia


                          --- Geoff Taylor <gjtaylor@...> wrote: > Hi
                          >
                          > Sophie and Martin and others have raised some good
                          > objections to net
                          > nannies.
                          >
                          > In my school's situation, however, I do feel there
                          > is a need for something
                          > along those lines. Our students do, in theory, agree
                          > not to use school
                          > resources inappropriately, but some always will do -
                          > (young) males, in
                          > particular, as part of bonding behaviour or
                          > whatever.
                          >
                          > We get students mainly above but a few below the age
                          > of 18, so we need to be
                          > able to give some assurances to their parents.
                          >
                          > The students have free access to Internet computers
                          > outside of class time,
                          > during the week and also at weekends. Providing a
                          > knowledgeable human on
                          > "walkabout" for those times is a good idea but would
                          > be (too) costly.
                          >
                          > In any case, I think maybe it's OK for an
                          > educational institution to aim to
                          > provide an environment in which users needn't worry
                          > about being presented
                          > with objectionable images. Like a library. Like
                          > Disney World. Certain types
                          > of images can be upsetting for people from certain
                          > cultures, and it seems
                          > reasonable to try to avoid that in a multi-cultural
                          > situation, where you
                          > have West Europeans rubbing shoulders with Middle
                          > Easterners, for example.
                          >
                          > In my experience, lab situations such as the ones at
                          > St Clare's are an
                          > almost constant (play-)battleground. Some students
                          > seem to enjoy the fillip
                          > of engaging in taboo activities and like to tease
                          > the IT manager by
                          > installing rude programs and changing the desktop
                          > wallpaper to obscene
                          > photos.
                          >
                          > Human policing of computer/Internet use is
                          > time-consuming and, in our case,
                          > ineffective. Students engaged in illicit activities,
                          > such as playing chess
                          > when they ought to be doing TOEFL preparation,
                          > become adept at using the
                          > task bar, etc, to mask their activities from casual
                          > view.
                          >
                          > If we detected any inappropriate activity in the
                          > student computer rooms, it
                          > would be very difficult to ascertain who was doing
                          > it, or even to stop it.
                          > As a case in point, for a short period of time, we
                          > had some very
                          > inappropriate and expensive use of the Internet on
                          > computers in the
                          > teachers' staffroom, late at night. (I had no
                          > rational objection to the
                          > activity, only the expense in telephone charges.)
                          > The person all
                          > circumstantial fingers pointed at denied any such
                          > behaviour, and verifying
                          > who was guilty would have required highly intrusive
                          > investigations, so we
                          > didn't bother. Luckily, the behaviour swiftly
                          > ceased.
                          >
                          > So I think we do need a Net nanny, but it would be
                          > handy to have a more
                          > flexible one, and one that wasn't so anti-chat.
                          >
                          > To be honest, as the school's educational computer
                          > guy, with 5 hours a week
                          > (for which I'm very grateful) for a variety of
                          > projects, I have my hands
                          > full just combatting Windows viruses and especially
                          > Word macro viruses.
                          > Maybe I'm not up to speed with things properly, but
                          > even with Norton Anti
                          > Virus installed and configured on all the computers,
                          > viruses frequently get
                          > through. And the NAV can't seem to check the boot
                          > sectors unless it's in
                          > adminstrator mode, which means it can't be done
                          > automatically, but has to be
                          > done manually, computer by computer, very
                          > time-consuming.
                          >
                          > Heck, I'm throwing out ideas.
                          >
                          > --
                          > Geoff Taylor
                          > CALL Coordinator, St Clare's, Oxford, UK
                          > http://www.stclares.ac.uk
                          > IATEFL Computer SIG Web pages editor
                          >
                          http://www.paddocks64.freeserve.co.uk/CompSIG2/callsig.htm
                          > gjtaylor@...
                          >
                          >
                          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                          > IATEFLComputerSig-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                          > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          >
                          >


                          ____________________________________________________________
                          Do You Yahoo!?
                          Get your free @... address at http://mail.yahoo.co.uk
                          or your free @... address at http://mail.yahoo.ie
                        • Rodolfo Cares
                          I totally aggree with the idea of creating a culture where students understand that in society you have to make choices, where everything is available and that
                          Message 12 of 17 , May 27, 2001
                            I totally aggree with the idea of creating a culture
                            where students understand that in society you have to
                            make choices, where everything is available and that
                            one has to develop own parameters of what is correct
                            or not in what context...I don't think that the idea
                            of barring people/students from accessing something
                            will change things at all...they will access it anyway
                            in the corner shop or through friends...educationally
                            we have to think of ways building in students a
                            mechanism of selfdefence against what there is
                            there...a selective taste... a critical mindset...
                            regards,,

                            Rodolfo Cares
                            --- CKlauer <CKlauer@...> wrote: > Dear All
                            > I agree with Martin Eyars in that blocking access is
                            > not a form of open
                            > eduaction. We all know of the dangers of some
                            > content in the Internet ( most
                            > of it, by the way ), but denying access is just a
                            > form of censorship. The
                            > question is then : who censors the censors?
                            > I would like to see more responsibility being
                            > developed in a classroom than
                            > just the teacher taking care or being worried about
                            > what content the kids
                            > see. The aim is to make people responsible and free
                            > to choose knowing the
                            > dangers, benefits, etc.
                            > Cesar Klauer
                            > CKlauer@...
                            > Lima - Peru
                            >
                            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                            > IATEFLComputerSig-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                            > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                            >
                            >


                            ____________________________________________________________
                            Do You Yahoo!?
                            Get your free @... address at http://mail.yahoo.co.uk
                            or your free @... address at http://mail.yahoo.ie
                          • Sophie and Yiannis Georgiou
                            Well, welcome back Steve! We are glad you re posting and I hope that this llist is mature enough not to burn anyone any more. Sophie ... be a ... written ...
                            Message 13 of 17 , May 28, 2001
                              Well, welcome back Steve! We are glad you're posting and I hope that this
                              llist is mature enough not to 'burn' anyone any more.

                              Sophie

                              At 08:54 ðì 26/5/2001 +0400, you wrote:
                              >This point about the limited response to online discussion issues seems to
                              be a
                              >pretty pervasive "feature" of other discussion groups I'm in. I haven't
                              written
                              >anything on this list for about three years. I guess that like many - it's
                              >similar in a face-to-face forum - things like bashfulness, don't want to
                              make a
                              >fool of yourself in front of a body of international expertise, nothing that
                              >significant to say, don't want to give good ideas away (!), got burnt once
                              >before etc. are major reasons why people don't feel they will contribute
                              much. I
                              >know, I'm a wimp.
                              >
                              >R.S.V.P. (Reply if it pleases you)
                              >
                              >Steve.
                              >
                              >Valerie Bevan wrote:
                              >
                              >> Thank you Geoff,
                              >>
                              >> To my surprise, you are the only person who has so far responded to my
                              >> appeal. As an (often very bleary-eyed) spectator of the computer sig group
                              >> last summer, I had the feeling that there was an enormous body of
                              >> international expertise to be drawn on in cases of need. I was really
                              >> interested to read the debate about computer room layouts, for example. I'm
                              >> surprised that there aren't more computer sig members for whom this is a
                              >> consideration. (I wonder if it is because so many of them are in higher
                              >> education institutions with very well-funded IT provision? Not that I'm
                              >> envious: when you have control of a smaller facility you are often in a
                              much
                              >> better position to make it language-learner friendly.)
                              >>
                              >> Having a secondary school as well as an adult EFL institution under the
                              >> umbrella of Sawston Hall, we have been using a BT ISDN schools
                              connection --
                              >> but not their (outrageously expensive and limiting) walled garden, which of
                              >> course, has the net nanny among its functions. We have used Cyber Patrol to
                              >> reassure concerned parents, as you've used your RM program -- but we also
                              >> don't want to have game-players and chatline users blocking the use of the
                              >> computers by students who want to use them for language learning and
                              >> research. So we are in need of an independent net nanny, and I had really
                              >> hoped that my question might throw up (1) a variety of possibilities at
                              >> present available (2) concerns that specifically affect multi-lingual
                              >> schools and that might be of interest to software developers.
                              >>
                              >> Oh well! (Sigh.)
                              >>
                              >> Valerie Bevan
                              >> Resources Manager,
                              >> The Cambridge Centre for Languages, SAWSTON HALL, Cambridge UK
                              >>
                              >> Our ISP is Research Machines, RM, in Abingdon, and use their Internet
                              >> Filter, which goes through a caching system on their servers. If I remember
                              >> right off-hand, it blocks pornographic keywords and unmodulated chat. It
                              >> also makes mistakes and blocks "innocent" sites, especially, I think, ones
                              >> that use "chat" as a key word, which includes quite a few.
                              >>
                              >> >From what I remember when I was messing with it, it's fairly easy to get
                              >> round the porn filters, but the chat filters are really tough.
                              >>
                              >> I've kept with it out of laziness really, as it has acted sort of like a
                              >> security blanket for technophobic administrators, who use to reassure
                              >> anxious parents of any underage students.
                              >>
                              >> Normally, RM's filter isn't obtrusive and doesn't make many mistakes. The
                              >> main drawback is that it blocks chat.
                              >>
                              >> --
                              >> Geoff Taylor
                              >> CALL Coordinator, St Clare's, Oxford, UK
                              >> http://www.stclares.ac.uk
                              >> IATEFL Computer SIG Web pages editor
                              >> http://www.paddocks64.freeserve.co.uk/CompSIG2/callsig.htm
                              >> gjtaylor@...
                              >>
                              >> _________________________________________________________________________
                              >> Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
                              >>
                              >> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                              >> IATEFLComputerSig-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                              >>
                              >>
                              >>
                              >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                              >
                              >
                              >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                              >
                              >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                              >IATEFLComputerSig-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                            • Valerie Bevan
                              Thank you everybody! As some of you probably guessed, I meant to send my thanks to Geoff alone and blushed when it was made public -- but I m glad that my
                              Message 14 of 17 , May 28, 2001
                                Thank you everybody!

                                As some of you probably guessed, I meant to send my thanks to Geoff alone
                                and blushed when it was made public -- but I'm glad that my request for
                                technical help provoked the kinds of contributions that I've so much enjoyed
                                list-ening in to in the past. I wasn't really complaining about not
                                receiving an answer before Geoff's, by the way; I was just surprised. But
                                it's an ill wind...

                                Just before I asked my question, the contents of my bulk mailbox reminded me
                                of a game of international cricket: elegant bowling and batting by high
                                class technical experts. I've got nothing against cricket, mind you -- but
                                now it's more like quidditch, with a number of different balls in the air at
                                different levels, a lot of action, the snitch sometimes out of sight, and
                                the odd gently-batted bludger. (Don't worry if you didn't get the allusion:
                                you will..you will!) Like Sophie, I've archived some previous contributions
                                for future use (in discussions with teachers on training courses, for
                                instance), and I'll do so now, since I'd be interested to continue the
                                discussion of the pros and cons of net nannies outside the computer room.

                                Apropos of that question: thank you for your suggestions, Sophie, especially
                                for your second posting. You were right: the situation in our institution is
                                very much like that in Geoff's. Our students (18+) and boarding school
                                pupils (14-18) can use the computers during their respective lunch-hours,
                                and in a self-access session after school. Older pupils can also use them
                                independently at other times if they aren't required for class use. Because
                                of the constant coming and goings, coupled in the case of the language
                                school with many short-term students, it's impossible to assign a particular
                                computer to a particular person. During the self-access period someone is on
                                hand to solve problems and suggest programs and websites -- but this teacher
                                doesn't usually prowl the room, having many other things to do with his or
                                her time. Besides, with the computer room full and students of all ages
                                constantly coming and going, people don't usually look at suspect sites. The
                                net nanny question probably wouldn't have arisen if our students were
                                exclusively adults. As it is, we want to give both pupils and students
                                freedom to use the computer room as much as possible, with or without a
                                human minder, for emailing, research, language learning, buying cinema
                                tickets and booking flights etc. and before we had a net nanny, some of our
                                pupils were accessing sites that dealt in sado-masochism, black magic and
                                racism -- not subject areas which schools or even universities usually make
                                provision for as part of an open education. Two pupils were approached by
                                people they had met in chat rooms who turned out to be rather different from
                                what they had seemed to be. So, as Martin and Cesar suggested we should, we
                                do try to make students aware of the dangers of this kind of thing by
                                discussing it in class (Heinemann's "Accelerate Advanced" has a unit on this
                                very point, and there's lots of helpful material on-line) -- but making an
                                issue of the other kind of site would not only advertise "forbidden fruits",
                                but would be offensive to many students. A net nanny's supervision is tacit
                                at least ...there's no billboard of which sites are forbidden. Okay ! I can
                                see that makes it all the more insidious... But I thought Geoff's point
                                about "freedom from" objectionable images being as important as "freedom to"
                                roam the web was very pertinent.

                                We certainly don't just block, by the way. We try to encourage both adults
                                and adolescents to explore lots of other sites by offering them, with
                                reviews (to which students/pupils are invited to contribute, as they are
                                encouraged to recommend sites), in our extensive LAN library of categorised
                                websites (which is part of an answer to Clive's question on how we make our
                                computers "language learner friendly", but I'll try to get back to him on
                                that point). I'm inclined to think that "web whacking" the kind of sites
                                that I mentioned above, and that Geoff described, while leaving all the rest
                                of the web open, actually offers more freedom than using a walled garden.
                                (I'll definitely look into Blue Squirrel. Thank you, Sophie.) Those walled
                                gardens I know of, such as British Telecom's, are not only expensive, but
                                require tedious administration to be adjusted to different groups. Had we
                                but world enough and time...

                                [We don't use a proxy server, unfortunately, but a bayonet works box. My
                                impression is that a proxy server would be a lot more flexible.]

                                Is there anyone else beside Clive who would like to review some of last
                                year's contributions on computer lab arrangements? Sophie may have the whole
                                lot archived, but if not, I think I might have several that I could post or
                                make available as an attachment...

                                Best wishes
                                Valerie

                                _________________________________________________________________________
                                Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
                              • Geoff Taylor
                                Sorry to harp on about the subject of Net nannies, but...: ... Well put, and I agree with the idea that, given sufficient information, rightthinking will win
                                Message 15 of 17 , Jun 2, 2001
                                  Sorry to harp on about the subject of Net nannies, but...:

                                  Tilly Warren wrote:

                                  > Where I agree with the principle of free unhindered access to
                                  > everything on the Internet in the interest of freedom and
                                  > democracy...

                                  Well put, and I agree with the idea that, given sufficient information,
                                  rightthinking will win the day in an open contest with wrongheadedness - if
                                  not, maybe we should think twice about total freedom of expression.

                                  > if we agree with censoring films for certain age
                                  > categories then I can see the argument for 'Net Nannies'.

                                  Good point. I'm surprised to find myself in the position of a "censor", and
                                  hadn't really thought of myself in that way until this discussion started. I
                                  guess I think of the RM filters we use more as a way of letting students
                                  know the kind of thing we think appropriate in our computer rooms - like an
                                  automated online reminder system - rather than as a strong-arm enforcement
                                  system.

                                  Nobody reads notices or listens to teachers, so how else would we signal
                                  this effectively? ;-)

                                  Concerted efforts are required to get around the filters, so the persistent
                                  users can achieve their aims. As long as they do so privately, and there are
                                  no complaints, no worries (though we'd rather people do highly personal
                                  things elsewhere).

                                  With the agreement of the school, I installed as much chat software as I
                                  could get to work on our (deleted) Windows NT4 PCs.

                                  > Or is the
                                  > lesson to be learned 'It's a big bad world out there'?

                                  I feel that "educating" other people about the world goes beyond my brief as
                                  a teacher of EFL to a captive audience of fee-paying adults (even those only
                                  17 years old). It's up to me to remove barriers and smooth the way to
                                  learning English. I feel that anything else I might want to bring to the
                                  table is only by special permission from individuals. (The management of St
                                  Clare's, Oxford, vehemently disagrees with this stance, I should point out,
                                  and I suspect most of my colleagues, too, feel they have greater licence
                                  than I feel entitled to.)

                                  At the beginning of each course at St Clare's, students and teachers sign a
                                  2-way contract. Students agree to be punctual, attend, turn off mobiles, not
                                  chew gum in class, etc. Teachers agree to prepare lessons, mark homework,
                                  respect students' opinions, etc. (In theory... in practice, some students
                                  are always late, never turn off their mobile phones, etc.)

                                  It isn't "a big bad world" in my classrooms, even with adult students. It is
                                  a flexible rule-based environment, as it needs to be, for us to do what
                                  we're there for.

                                  Our computer rooms are also rule-based environments. But they have mor
                                  effective rules which act like physical laws, such as the laws of gravity,
                                  operating independently of the users, pulling them up short if they try to
                                  evade them.

                                  Just some musings...

                                  Thanks for your patience!

                                  --
                                  Geoff Taylor
                                  CALL Coordinator, St Clare's, Oxford, UK
                                  http://www.stclares.ac.uk
                                  IATEFL Computer SIG Web pages editor
                                  http://www.paddocks64.freeserve.co.uk/CompSIG2/callsig.htm
                                  gjtaylor@...
                                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.