From Now On
The Educational Technology Journal

 Vol 15|No 5|June|2006
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The Java Blockade

by Jamie McKenzie

About the author

Why block all Web sites that rely upon Java scripting and applets?

In some schools and school districts the network managers have taken this extreme measure without involving any educators in the decision.

This kind of blocking makes little sense. It represents a lamentable abuse of power.

The Web sites listed on the right would help students to visualize their thinking and strengthen their synthesis skills. All of these sites rely upon Java scripting and all of them are blocked in some school districts.

Are these dirty sites? Pornographic?

They are not being blocked for any sound educational reason.

Java has been the cause of some serious network problems during the past decade, so some security conscious network managers have decided to block all Java.

A more reasonable approach is to keep abreast of security measures that do not require blanket denial of access.

Another option is to create a list of sites like the ones on the right evaluated, approved and requested by teachers.

Just because some immigrants or visitors might be terrorists, it would be unreasonable to block all immigrants and visitors from the USA like some network managers have blocked all Java.

The screen shot above shows one of the wonderful educational sites blocked in many school districts because it requires that Java be enabled.

Try one of the kits at Magnetic Poetry and see whether your district is blocking it. Click here.

Test these others . . .

1. Visual Thesaurus -
2. JigCard Gallery -

3. Virtual Bead Loom -

4. Weavit

5. Shocked Poetry -

All of these sites were featured in recent articles:

Credits: The photographs in this article were shot by Jamie McKenzie.
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You can buy Jamie's new book, Learning to Question to Wonder to Learn at

You can read sample chapters and consider the Table of Contents. Click here.