Great initial presentation here in the final day of the ADE 2005 Summer institute. Good ideas for collaboration and cooperation online.

I love the logo they came up with (I just took a rather rough cell phone pic and posted it to Flickr). Great image mix. I wonder if the US Dept of Ed will complain or sue? Let’s hope not….

The main question that came after the preso regarded people who want to use iChat in their school districts but can’t because of firewall configurations. The bottom line to solving this is getting your administrator to understand the value and potential of online collaboration with iChat, and then get their support to get the district IT department to open up needed ports.

A couple Apple knowledge base articles that may be of use for doing this include:

– “Using iChat AV with a firewall or NAT router” (93208)
– “iChat AV: Compatible Network Routers” (93333)
– “Well Known” TCP and UDP Ports Used By Apple Software Products” (106439)

The main thing to realize is, you technically CAN use iChat with others from within your school district network, if you can’t now it is a matter of convincing the IT “powers that be” that opening the requisite ports is an instructional necessity. I recommend you get your administrators behind you on this one first, because many educational IT departments tend to want to lock everything down to the greatest extent possible.

This issue highlights an ongoing conflict in education between the dynamic forces of creativity and the authoritarian drive to control and limit user behavior. Virginia Postrel’s book “The Future and It’s Enemies” is a good read on this topic. Virginia’s blog on this topic is available on www.dynamist.com/weblog.

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