Internet content filtering in education

I've worked in education for a few years now and I think it's pretty safe to say that colleges/universities need content filtering on the Internet, however when does content filtering go too far?

In my educational institute we've always had social networking websites, Youtube, Online file storage sites etc. blocked for all, this has always been like this and we've kind of learned to accepted it, but should we accept it? Mashable did an interesting post regarding the openness of the Internet and how it can improve productivity at work (Link to Post) and I totally agree.  It's just a shame that the powers to be don't care/not interested enough to do anything about it.

Now as times move on with the integration of social media in education and influx of smart mobile technologies, is it finally time to loosen the belt? especially as students in the UK will be paying up to £9000 per year for the privilege of attending a Higher Educational institute (BBC)

I feel that Higher Education students will start to call the shots and demanding open access, after all, educational institutes are like any other business, they have to keep the customers happy.

In no other industry would we accept this, but in education we do, strange....

Moodle 2 upgrade... The journey so far....

So this week I've been playing with Moodle 2 and seeing if it's feasible to upgrade this summer, ready for the new academic year in September.

in short, yes but no.

In the current state we are no where near ready to upgrade to Moodle 2 for many reasons such as our theme, custom mods, 3rd party blocks etc.  So I started to work my way through Moodle 2 trying to understand how things work, most things are the same if not slightly different.  This reminds me of when I first used Office 2007 not sure how to do basic things.

The Leeds City College Moodle theme will need to be re-done, pretty much from scratch, this will help with cleaning up some code and making sure it doesn't clash with any core Moodle functionality.

The upgrade process which is a whole new ball game, initial upgrade tests show that Moodle works and it's not that bad considering our tweaks and mods, we just have a problem with upgrading the course_meta table which seems to break the ability to do meta/child courses in Moodle 2 (Lewis has added this to the tracker) (Update 17th Feb 2011, this has been fixed)

Some of the new features I like in Moodle 2 are how easy it now is to manually enrol someone onto a course, it's the future!  The Navigation Block which looks to have totally removed the need for Tabs within Moodle and I love the way Moodle has now been simplified to add a resource, File, Folder, Label.... this will make training that much easier.

I'm not too keen on the Dock at the moment, but maybe this will change the more I use it.

I still have some more testing to do, to make sure some important features will still work after the upgrade process such as the Online Users Page and Moodle Folders but so far apart from the Meta/Child course problem I would say we are progressing well..... until the next problem arises.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Doctor Who

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