One of the favorite bedtime books of my daughters and I is “O Is for Orca”, which is an alphabet book about animals in the Pacific Northwest that I bought in Seattle several years ago when I was there for NECC. This evening my youngest and I were reading a related book she recently got at Chick-Fil-A titled “Wild Animal Baby,” and we were talking about Orcas. My laptop was close, so I opened it up and did some quick Google Video and YouTube searches for “orca.” What fun! She loved it and I was amazed by the large quantity of excellent video clips at my fingertips about orcas:

We even watched a few more, but those links are representative. Quite amazing, no?! And I’m not even subscribed to a commercial video clip content service like United Streaming! I know, I know– Teachers and students in many K-12 public classrooms likely couldn’t do something like this because websites like YouTube and Google Video are blocked by the district’s content filter. I wish I knew the best way we could address this. There is such GREAT content out there on the web, but in our fear and litigation-driven U.S. society, at least, it appears that we are falling over ourselves to try and essentially ban Internet use (or at least any type of fun, engaging, and creative use of it) in our schools. What are we to do?

Hey, that reminds me– We’ll likely learn some good approaches (perhaps even some new ones) in the upcoming K-12 Online Conference. The price is free, so won’t you join us? If you have some ideas about dealing with these sorts of web 2.0 educational implementation obstacles, please consider submitting in the “Overcoming Obstacles” strand of the conference! 🙂

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