I now believe that it’s true that if you sit long enough then something will come along, and, eventually, it has. I’ve spent lots of time over the last few months, watching, reading, gaming, being operated on, talking, twittering, computering, thinking, sleeping, and just being plain bored.
It may be that starting negatively is being a bit of a pain, especially when during my absence I have found all things “social network”/technolgy to be an absolute saviour. Having my Nokia 95 in hospital (and it was allowed) enabled me to stay in touch. The days were long enough with access to the outside world….without it …well I’m not quite sure what would have happened!
However, it was finding out that the LEA in which I work, had decided that our use of Incerts (http://www.incerts.co.uk/) was inappropriate because it was a “proxy avoidance” issue that, I guess, was the thing that has finally started my brain pinging back into life and prompted me to write about “what I know best”.
This incident, of course, was not the first “ACCESS DENIED” message and it most definitely will not be the last, but it was the finest and best and most obvious case of, “we will decide what you can use even though we don’t know what you need or want.” Our Reception teacher had spent ages trying to persuade “them” to unblock it but the needs of the network were of greater priority than the needs of the user/school/pupil. It also left a distinct feeling, on the part of our Reception teacher that she had no influence nor was there anyone listening.
The problem was solved with a couple of emails. One in particular from the MD of Incerts, who outlined the technical case in an elegant and eloquent way. It forced the hand of the “blockers” who quite grudgingly agreed to permit access. Success …but how much time and how much effort? The following day I suggested to my Y5 colleague that http://etherpad.com/
would be an ideal tool for her collaborative writing project, and she tried it but it is “ACCESS DENIED”.
I remember reading at University the poetry of Philip Larkin. The theme, it seemed to my Eng Lit friend and I, was that he spent lots of time writing about negative feelings in order to encourage something positive. Or at least that’s what we thought, I haven’t gone back to the work of Philip Larkin since so whether it was or wasn’t the case I’m not really sure. However it made me think then and when I thought now, I was reminded of it.