Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Possible discussion topic for class: Internet censorship 

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I may decide to discuss internet censorship in my class this semester. I recently discovered that Medium is blocked in Egypt (no kidding). And someone shared this website with me which talks about ways of monitoring censorship in Egypt.

I’m just parking this here for now. So I can come back to it later. It would fit well into a discussion of digital citizenship as well, I think. 

My absolute nightmare would be if Egypt blocked YouTube (therefore no vconnecting) or Twitter.

(article about new Internet law in Zimbabwe, may be worth reading and discussing as well)

2 Comments

  1. That post resonates. I run blended and online courses for teachers based in Istanbul (where we have had YouTube blocked in the past, Google sites was at one stage, Wikipedia is currently – well lots of things are, some of them perhaps rather more significant in other ways but those are the ones that have caused me direct course/task access grief) and we have carried on using Moodle for that reason. At one point there was a push from others in the organisation to move to Google classroom (after one of my outbursts against whatever the moodle had done that week, but I suspect whatever LMS you use those happen), but I live in hope that Moodle seems (a) educational and (b) neutral enough to remain under the blocking parapet and try to systematically back up all the extra bits that I have built in and round it in Google docs/YouTube and as more of our participants are further flung (some in Egypt 🙂 we are now working with teachers in a range of countries with different blocks on different things). One of my most recent learning curves has been how to deliver video content to people in Tehran (solved that one I think for now at least) or China (my work round so far involved Gdocs, so still not solved here) without them having to have good tech skills and download through VPNs … the courses are for EFL teachers, the tech skills they have and use on the course are a means not the end, but to deliver courses in a way you want to be comfortably accessible (you can set it up and maintain it, they can get at it) to all without fear or favour to anyone because of blocks and where they happen to live becomes more complex with every new teacher in a new place. I’m not complaining exactly (I love that we have become more international in this way), but am on learning curves that have nothing to do with the core areas of education I am supposed to be delivering. Would that the tech side were a lot simpler and I only had to deal with the education.

    • Thanks for this, Sally. I think despite the frustration with all of this, it helps us remember that globalization is hard work, that reaching people far away is both easier and more complex than we imagine, and that we need to question our assumptions constantly. I still find it hilarious but extremely frustrating that Egypt has blocked Medium of all places! I imagine reaching different countries needing different workarounds and how much work that must be! I hope you keep finding ways. LMS, if locally hosted, should not be affected; one of the few pros of LMSs

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