I've taken the position of not passing on the "work around" as Sparkebox is not 'mission critical' just a resource and I'm not willing to take the risk of allowing a user to access a site that has been blocked for good reasons by our appointed filtering service, if I did why don't I just take on all the legal resposibilities to filter everything..don't think so. Anyway, just think of all the printing costs I'm saving by people not having access to Sparkebox :D (anyway most think I blocked it becuase of that reason!)
Last week I was asked to unblock the site urgently because the teachers depend upon it. It became blocked at a 'higher' level than the school. I certainly hadn't changed anything. I came in today (part time) and there was a bit of a panic and I had to block it straightaway. No reasons given - JFDI.
cms.lambeth.lgfl.net - Welcome
Any way to remove this globally considering it wasn't installed via AD.
Any one made a script yet?
I've been told by somebody I trust that there is a very very good reason for this site not to be used by children. And as they have to be the first priority for schools/LA/RBC unfortunately teachers will have to cope without this resource.
see post 50 of Sparklebox ...still banned ? - Early years - TES Connect
I also suggested to another member of staff that they could download the documents at home and print them at school. The response was that the school should then pay for her internet connection! Here's an idea, love, why don't you make your own resources if you're too tight to pay a few quid per month to save you hours of work? (Is what I wish I'd had the bottle to point out).
Reading the comments on the Blog on Sparklebox, you can clearly see the gulf between how teachers see ICT and how we have to support it. Some rather worrying comments on there, similar to what LeMarchand reports.
Also, how on earth did Teachers cope before ICT took hold of everything? Some of them are screaming blue murder over how they can't cope without it. If they are so reliant on one teaching resource then god help us all!
I actually had some concerns about Sparklebox (mostly the toolbar) when I first started in educational IT, however soon found those concerns to be completely unfounded. The amount of resources on the site are a huge boost to teaching and it's amazing how many teaching staff use it to good effect.
The only problem I have with it personally is that by default it changes your homepage/search engine to Conduit/Sparklebox, and that it doesnt like 800x600. Not a huge problem these days but in many schools there's a few PC's that need to use this resolution, sometimes for sight-restricted pupils.
Keeping an interested eye, I'm not particularly suspicious but with the amount of infections I'm seeing in schools (that allegedly have come from our very own council) I'd like to at least rule it out. 95% happy to continue it's use in schools though.
With ofsed now hot on "safeguarding" I wouldn't want to be responsible for the fact I ignored a possible risk no matter how small. Therefore document it and ensure the head is aware of the situation and let them make the call
Also just wanted to add that this whole thing has really made my day. I googled "sparklebox banned" and was taken to various teaching forums and some of the comments from teachers had me rolling around on the floor. stuff like "im mortified", "what are teachers going to do now", "how do they expect us to teach without this resource", and my all time favourite "this site halfed my workload, now i'll have to work".
God i love teachers, maybe somewhere they forgot they are actually employed to teach, and teaching is not just about surfing the net for resources that other people have done, printing them off and then patting yourself on the back on a job well done, back when i was in uni, that was called plagiarism.
can any teacher remember back to when schools had no internet, teachers taught back then too, so one website gets banned and the whole system comes crashing around them.
the scenes at some of my schools resemble the movie 2012, damn maybe the Mayans were right, lol
I have to be honest, toolbar aside I cannot see anything wrong with the website?
I'm going to have a bit of a sit down with one of my greatest Sparklebox using schools tomorrow, and without scaring any of them I'm going to try and find out the impact it would have should it "dissapear" or be blocked. It's not likely to happen without damned good reason from EMBC down here, but it's just a heads up for them more than anything else. I still can't see anything wrong with it but if more than one LEA has indeed gone full pelt and blocked all/part of their services, I'd rather be safe than sorry. Certainly better than walking into said school one morning to find 10 members of staff grabbing at my collar and trying to buy my time with coffee and biscuits because their favourite/only resource has gone :D