Thursday, December 11, 2008

English Username Password UPDATE UPDATE

So after today's class, I'm not exactly sure what the decision about using new Gmail accounts is. I'm about 80% sure she said it was okay, but that we were irresponsible for not listening to her tell us to create a school-only account (which I still staunchly uphold that she didn't). The other 20% of me thinks she's going to not accept the new one.

If the 80% wins, all is good in the world.

If the 20% does....

The school board should prepare for an interesting night.

She still claims insists that because her son is a computer systems analyst, our information will be safe because if someone were to hack into our accounts and steal/damage personal information, she could track their IP addresses. Well, that's good and all, but being able to catch the criminal after he gets what he's after doesn't stop the crime.

To me, that's like arguing that you have the right to catch someone's house on fire because your son is a fireman.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

English Username/Password UPDATE

So Mrs. Blair told us we could use a new account for our portfolio stuff now. Although she yelled at us for like, an hour, insisting that she had told us not to use a pre-existing account at the beginning of the year. Which she absolutely did not. I mean, 8 out of the top 10 in the class say she didn't.

I'm still pretty sure that what she's doing is illegal. But at this point, I realize that there are some battles that aren't worth fighting.

Oh well.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I know students don't have the same rights as adults, but come on!

Today the seniors at Raceland-Worthington High School (including me) were given a "Senior To-Do List." On this list are four things:

1. Have the following pieces on Google Documents by 12-11-08:

A. Personal Expressive (or alternate literary piece)
B. Transactive Analytical (should already be there)
C. Transactive Piece from a Content Area class other than English.

2. Check off these assignments:

___ A. Personal Expressive (or alternate literary piece)
___ B. Transactive Analytical
___ C. Transactive from a Content Area other than English.

3. Email your Google Document username and password to [teacher's email address placed here].

4. Write username and password below:

Username: _______________
Password: _______________

Yes, you read that correctly. We have to give the usernames and passwords to our Google Accounts to our English teacher, Mrs. Blair. In writing. On paper.

The exact reason for this is, at the moment, unknown, since through Google Documents we can share our pieces with her and she can view them from there, without having to access our personal accounts. And you may or may not know that these Google Accounts include our Gmail accounts, which for many people, are their primary email accounts, used to receive everything from newsletters to college and scholarship info to bank statements.

Now, for some people, that may not be too much of a problem, since a lot of us created a Google Account simply for the use of posting English pieces online and participating in group discussions. But many of us (myself included) had a Google Account before the beginning of this year (since 2005 for me), and have been using it for the work in English we have done thus far, since we were told we could use an existing account.

Mrs. Blair has said that it is not an option to create a new Google Account and give her that password and username, because she would have to change our contact info, and if we do not want to give her access to our personal information, we need to make a new account and make that one our personal one, which would require changing information on every site or organization from which we currently receive information which, for me at least, is not an option.

I could somewhat understand this issue if we were using email accounts set up on a school server or provided for us by the school district, but we aren't. We are being required to give a teacher access to our personal accounts, and I don't believe it's right or legal. And it's not that I distrust Mrs. Blair, or that I think she's going to hack into my account and steal credit card information or anything like that. It's the concept of a teacher requiring me to allow her access to my personal email address. Not to mention the fact that we have to physically write down our information on a sheet of paper that will probably be kept in an easy-to-reach area that every student at RWHS will have access to.

It's not my intention at all to incite any trouble. However, I don't feel that I can let this issue pass quietly, and something is more likely to be done to remedy the situation if more people are aware of what's going on.