View Full Version : Geocachingmaine and School



dí76
05-01-2007, 09:14 PM
As many of you know I work in a school for kids that cant handle main stream schooling, when you spend your whole day with these kids that struggle through life everyday you look for any reason to get them to look at the plus sides of life and maybe get out from behind the video games and outdoors a bit. I used geocaching.com to introduce them to the game and geocachingmaine.org to show them some of the great photos that this state has to offer. Frequently, you would notice a spark of interest and then they would start asking questions about are there any near their house. Often I could show them on the computer about how far from their house they where. I thought this was very cool. Something other than negitivity and loveless relationships at home, maybe being outside and family adventure.

It was last week that I noticed that I could no longer show the students these things. The filter system in the school had changed. When I requested that the filter allow gcmaine to be bypassed I was told that the site was not appropriate for students. The message I recieved was as follows:

Sorry Dave.
I have seen a lot on the forums that the kids should not see.
If you truly want to show them something about Geocaching then go to GC.com.

I can honestly say was somewhat displease. I would be interested in knowing how some of the other members feel.:( :mad:

Sudonim
05-01-2007, 10:51 PM
I know that things got a little heated in the forums, but I think that blew over a year ago...or longer. People have been playing pretty well with others IMO.

Haffy
05-01-2007, 11:04 PM
Well if you have ever spent any time at all on the GC forums you would notice that things there are a LOT more heated than any discussions we might have had in here in the past. I surely would like to know what exactly they meant and they certainly haven't been to the GC forums much lately. I would like to see some specifics to go by before I would make that recommendation. JMHO

brdad
05-02-2007, 05:47 AM
As haffy hinted, it has to be the forums more so than the site. And as he said, compared to the gc.com forums, I think we do pretty well. The most offensive suff they could find here IMO would be the jokes more so then any confrontations that ever came up. There is one topic that has dicussed a little about sex offenders, but I don't see where that went any further than any news story.

How old are these kids? They'd have to be pretty young to get anything from here that any kid would not find on TV or elsewhere.

It seems to me if a few kids could get find something like caching or our photo gallery to get excited about or to spark at least some imagination that the benefits far outweigh any faults anyone could find here.

Trezurs*-R-*Fun
05-02-2007, 05:57 AM
Keeping kids from GCMaine.org serves little protection considering these kids are exposed to video games, music and television that is far more explicit than this site.

I think, Dave, that your school has generalized the GCMaine.org forums with those found elsewhere. I've seen many forums that "anything goes" mean the more rude and crude the better it must be.

I think our site has a great group of folks who are self constraining and very respectful to one another. The hard part for you is to show that to your school administration. Is there anything we can do to help????

Cache On!!

firefighterjake
05-02-2007, 06:31 AM
My first thought was to post some smart alecky remark about the ban being due to me posting all of my ****** ads on line (please note: I am just kidding.):D

Then I thought maybe it was due to the heated discussions or jokes . . . and then it hit me . . . I wonder if it would be due to threads like Hiram and WhereRWe's Beer Thread. Now don't get me wrong, I think those threads are pretty harmless, but an administrator who is concerned with students who are at risk may view a thread such as this one . . . or the one about sexual predators . . . or anyone of a number of other potential threads (I'm trying not to single out any one thread since that's not the point) . . . as condoning some of these activities and that may be due to the ban.

As mentioned before I guess I would either drop the issue or ask the administrator for a pointed example.

As TRF mentioned I visit (and moderate one BBS site) and I have to say that this is probably the most enjoyable BBS site with little to no BS -- folks seem to do a pretty good job of behaving themselves without having a moderator step in to put folks in the proverbial time out -- something that can't be said about many other BBS sites.

Hiram357
05-02-2007, 07:11 AM
Then I thought maybe it was due to the heated discussions or jokes . . . and then it hit me . . . I wonder if it would be due to threads like Hiram and WhereRWe's Beer Thread. Now don't get me wrong, I think those threads are pretty harmless, but an administrator who is concerned with students who are at risk may view a thread such as this one . . . or the one about sexual predators . . .

I leanin towards agreein with ya on this one jake, although I think that threads like the "beer thread" are fun and ones like the "predator thread" are interesting to see what other people think of the serious situations, I can see where they would be concerned from their prospective. But the question is, what is to be done??? Do we reformat the whole site to be kid friendly? Do we continue with the forums as always? I think we had a discussion about this before, and that's why things like the "member only" threads were made.

personally I don't think there is any real answer, if we reformat things just to conform to someone elses liking, then it won't be long until something else comes along (someone has a problem with the background being green because its offensive to leprechauns or somethin...) If were constantly changing to make everyone happy, then it won't be long until nobodys happy... (just look at what groups like PITA have done to mcdonalds! :D )

dí76
05-02-2007, 07:19 AM
I like everyones thoughts on this and can honestly say I dont want anything to change. I just think its a shame that there is no consistancy. I also cant access village soup anymore, cant even order supplies from staples anymore.

Northwoods Explorer
05-02-2007, 07:27 AM
Ran into the same thing at our school. The new filter will not even let us into the New Brunswick Dept. of Education, Professional Development Division. Appears some what strange for a school don't you think.:(

firefighterjake
05-02-2007, 08:06 AM
I leanin towards agreein with ya on this one jake, although I think that threads like the "beer thread" are fun and ones like the "predator thread" are interesting to see what other people think of the serious situations, I can see where they would be concerned from their prospective. But the question is, what is to be done??? Do we reformat the whole site to be kid friendly? Do we continue with the forums as always? I think we had a discussion about this before, and that's why things like the "member only" threads were made.

personally I don't think there is any real answer, if we reformat things just to conform to someone elses liking, then it won't be long until something else comes along (someone has a problem with the background being green because its offensive to leprechauns or somethin...) If were constantly changing to make everyone happy, then it won't be long until nobodys happy... (just look at what groups like PITA have done to mcdonalds! :D )

I agree 100%. I think our site is fine as it is and should not be changed -- as you mentioned you'll never be able to make everyone happy with a place like this and I think the members-only forums was the wise thing to do.

One question . . . PETA or PITA? PETA = People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (of course there is also the other PETA = People Eating Tasty Animals) and PITA = Pain in the ___. ;) :D

firefighterjake
05-02-2007, 08:08 AM
I like everyones thoughts on this and can honestly say I dont want anything to change. I just think its a shame that there is no consistancy. I also cant access village soup anymore, cant even order supplies from staples anymore.

Village Soup . . . Staples . . . pretty bad when you can't access a newspaper site -- although they do have a BBS which may be one reason.

Now as for Staples . . . is it those racy-looking new staplers with their sleek, erotic design or the paperclips which could be fashioned into drug appartus that has resulted in the ban? ;) :D

FuddsGirls
05-02-2007, 08:30 AM
I am just a substitute in our school system but I do work with the special ed kids. When our kids are given computer time, it is monitored. The have some sights to tell you about from their homes though that I won't let my girls go to. This sight is great, makes you feel like part of a community. Now I don't know if I'd want my girls reading the Beer Chat but that's part of the friendliness and fun here. And postingings about sexual predators, I appreciate those. I found, through the special ed kids, that even filtered sights have a loophole. Our school uses some safe google thing. The images from some of these sights can still be viewed.

dí76
05-02-2007, 10:11 AM
I need to back on comment I made as some things have changed in the last couple of days. You can infact check the staples website. Sorry for the confusion.:o

WhereRWe?
05-02-2007, 10:29 AM
I know that things got a little heated in the forums, but I think that blew over a year ago...or longer. People have been playing pretty well with others IMO.

I still run with scissors... :o :o

Hiram357
05-02-2007, 02:15 PM
One question . . . PETA or PITA? PETA = People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (of course there is also the other PETA = People Eating Tasty Animals) and PITA = Pain in the ___. ;) :D

Both are fitting (I forgot about the first one) but the latter is what I was thinking. :D (Just look what they did to McDonalds, first it was about the cooking fat, then it was about the meat, then it was about the chickens being rudely treated that we're turning into chicken nuggets anyways... I think the only reason why they're constantly going after McDonalds is because they know that they will bend to avoid looking bad and keep everyone happy... where does it end...?)

firefighterjake
05-02-2007, 03:12 PM
. . . where does it end...?)

Answer: McTofu nuggets and a Big Soy Mac? ;) :D

Hiram357
05-02-2007, 04:57 PM
Answer: McTofu nuggets and a Big Soy Mac? ;) :D


and how many people do you know that would actually enjoy eating that stuff????

if we constantly change the site to appeal to the sensitive needs of everyone well have a soy & tofu website... :rolleyes: (ok, maybe it's not the best of analogies, but ya get my drift?) :D

Sudonim
05-02-2007, 05:09 PM
and how many people do you know that would actually enjoy eating that stuff????

if we constantly change the site to appeal to the sensitive needs of everyone well have a soy & tofu website... :rolleyes: (ok, maybe it's not the best of analogies, but ya get my drift?) :D

Every site needs a little wasabi with the tofu to make it interesting.:p

Hiram357
05-02-2007, 05:24 PM
Every site needs a little wasabi with the tofu to make it interesting.:p

is that in reference to bruce running with scissors? :D

tlarson
05-02-2007, 09:48 PM
The internet filter where Dave works, which is required by Maine Law to receive state funding and put in place by the Maine Schools and Library Network, is set to filter out sites with forums as well as many other topics. Recently the Director of the school he works for realized that the school was not in line with the policies and filtering level of the rest of the district so the request was made to fix the issue.

Reasonable requests which are curriculum related and have educational content are usually granted by the folks who run the filter with some exceptions, such as internet e-mail such as yahoo and hotmail as well as sites with forums and chat areas even if there is some educational content. Some times the reviewers ask for how the site will be used in the classroom to evaluate the siteís educational value or they will ask the teacher making the request to list specific data or pages so that if the site is not unfiltered the teacher could be sent the required information in a different format if it cannot be found on another site. The filter automatically adjusts as it finds new sites through internet databases and traffic monitoring to and from schools so sites which are not filtered today may be filtered in the future.

This site was probably blocked because of the forums and chat as well as the beer and predator threads. If Dave wants to use some of the photos that are on this site for course work I am sure that if he downloaded the photos, (hopefully with permission) he could then load them on to a flash drive and take them to work to use in the class room.

I work in the same district and am under the same rules, if a site which I like to go to is blocked and it is not job related then I go to that site on my own time at home and use my own bandwidth. There have been quite a few comments from where Dave works which basically state that the teachers are getting more work done because they are not aimlessly surfing, and with the teacherís attention focused on work it provides a better learning environment for the students.

There are places of employment out in the real world that are locked down tighter than the school district will ever be. There are also employers out there that will no longer need your (your being a general term) services if you are caught surfing the web to non work related sites. Personally I would rather keep my job and surf at home than get fired for wasting an employerís time, money and bandwidth.

firefighterjake
05-03-2007, 07:54 AM
and how many people do you know that would actually enjoy eating that stuff????

. . .


Answer: Half of the students at Unity College? ;) :D

firefighterjake
05-03-2007, 07:55 AM
. . .
There are places of employment out in the real world that are locked down tighter than the school district will ever be. There are also employers out there that will no longer need your (your being a general term) services if you are caught surfing the web to non work related sites. Personally I would rather keep my job and surf at home than get fired for wasting an employerís time, money and bandwidth.

And then we'll return to the old days when all we had to pass the time was to play Solitaire on the computers! ;) :D

hollora
05-03-2007, 08:52 AM
When I worked in a different department but for your employer FFJ, the Dept. Head had IT come and remove all games from the computers too! They randomly revisited to ensure things we not reinstalled. Not sure as it is still the same as because of course they now have internet.

Foxgloves
05-03-2007, 09:59 AM
and how many people do you know that would actually enjoy eating that stuff????

if we constantly change the site to appeal to the sensitive needs of everyone well have a soy & tofu website... :rolleyes: (ok, maybe it's not the best of analogies, but ya get my drift?) :D


hey .Hey ...Hey!!!! Whats wrong w/ Tofu??? I love it!
I boycotted those fast food chains a long time ago....I'd rather eat nuts and twigs...

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c284/EMSDudette/KA_CHE13.gif

firefighterjake
05-03-2007, 11:52 AM
. . . I'd rather eat nuts and twigs...

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c284/EMSDudette/KA_CHE13.gif

. . . which tastes an awful lot like Chicken McSawdust . . . I mean Chicken McNuggets. ;) :D

Hiram357
05-03-2007, 01:50 PM
hey .Hey ...Hey!!!! Whats wrong w/ Tofu??? I love it!
I boycotted those fast food chains a long time ago....I'd rather eat nuts and twigs...

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c284/EMSDudette/KA_CHE13.gif

Hey now, no offense (to you strange people that eat that stuff) I was just tryin to make a comparrison and point out that if we constantly changed the site, eventually very few people (with the exception of a few oddballs...) would visit... :D :rolleyes: ;)

Foxgloves
05-03-2007, 07:59 PM
Hey now, no offense (to you strange people that eat that stuff) :D :rolleyes: ;)

I know you were just kidding...no offense taken.
But really...nuts and twigs are great!.. you should try them sometime...;)

Hiram357
05-03-2007, 09:32 PM
I know you were just kidding...no offense taken.
But really...nuts and twigs are great!.. you should try them sometime...;)

nuts i dont mind, twigs... eh... :D

dí76
05-03-2007, 09:34 PM
nuts i dont mind, twigs... eh... :D


oh come on hiram twigs will do you good:D :p

Hiram357
05-03-2007, 10:25 PM
oh come on hiram twigs will do you good:D :p

twigs, pinecones, and a side of rocks??? :rolleyes: :D

Haffy
05-04-2007, 06:45 AM
We seemed to have gotten sidetracked once again from the original post of this thread. It was good and intelligent dialog at the beginning and now has nothing to do with the original topic. If we have a moderator I wish they would ask that the posts stay on topic.

firefighterjake
05-04-2007, 07:26 AM
oh come on hiram twigs will do you good:D :p

Ummm . . . roughage is good for the G.I. system, right? ;) :D

Hiram357
05-04-2007, 11:37 AM
Ummm . . . roughage is good for the G.I. system, right? ;) :D

OFF TOPIC!! You need moderated!!! :p

firefighterjake
05-04-2007, 12:51 PM
OFF TOPIC!! You need moderated!!! :p

Actually I need more roughage. :D

Team2hunt
05-04-2007, 06:41 PM
twigs, pinecones, and a side of rocks??? :rolleyes: :D

And wash it all down with Tofu Ale.

Dave and Gail
05-04-2007, 09:31 PM
Wow Haffy,,,a moderator to keep the threads on track?? Whats next,,a moderator to check spelling??:cool: Holy smokes,,Lighten up will ya!! Im sure that anyone that wants to reply to the original thread topic can do so at anytime. Its all in fun and as long as it stays clean, whats the harm?:D Happy caching,,,"Dave"

brdad
05-04-2007, 09:36 PM
The harm is that if the school were to read this thread, it would reinforce their thoughts that the topic could veer off anywhere. While I don't think it needs moderator intervention, perhaps the thread originator, Dave1976, can state if he feels the thread has served it purpose or if he would like us to stay on track.

dí76
05-04-2007, 09:52 PM
There is alot that I would like to say in reply to the post but in order to keep it postive I will just say that I am alset.:(

Just remember that you cant always believe what you read

dí76
05-05-2007, 10:02 AM
There is alot that I would like to say in reply to the post but in order to keep it postive I will just say that I am alset.:(

Just remember that you cant always believe what you read


I just reread my post and realized it sounded like I was refering to Dave and Gails post and I wasnt

firefighterjake
05-06-2007, 07:27 AM
. . .

Just remember that you cant always believe what you read

You mean Elvis isn't alive and working at a Burger King in Gallup, New Mexico . . . I read it in the National Enquirer!;) :D

Trezurs*-R-*Fun
05-06-2007, 07:46 AM
Dave, In light of the "thread jacking" I do understand your concerns over earlier comments that were made regarding the original topic. Teaching is a thankless enough profession; then to be berated because of a simple question. The internet can be a powerful learning tool and while I agree that some content should be limited I think that teachers have a greater responsibility to teach than to "safeguard". It's when these tools are censured for unexplained reasons by those that think they know better, then teaching become more in line with "programming" than "educating." I think teachers see this while all the other "do gooders" believe they are protecting our children from the "evils" of the world when, in my opinion, they are actually perpetuating the problems by not giving the children the "tools" they need to deal with the "evil" things.
It is accepted that the issues of over-population and starvation in many African and other third world countries is a symptom of no education. Why then not use this valuable information and "teach" our children that the world isn't dotted with MacDonalds and PlayStations.

"Give a person a fish and they eat for a day, teach a person to fish and they eat for the rest of their lives."

My 2 cents
:) :) :) :) :) :)