Congratulations to the Great Filter Wall… it is alive and well, and doing it’s job.
I’ve only heard rumours about why things are so slow here now, but I’m guessing they are right… It’s hard to create a digital ‘movement of the masses’ when connecting digitally, (and especially to the spaces where this happens), is painfully difficult.
VPN’s (that bypass the ‘Great Filter Wall’) have been hit hard, even mine that has been stellar so far required me to get a new address from support to link up. Instead of linking through Hong Kong, my connection must now go through Los Angeles to connect. The slow internet, plus the longer connection route means it takes longer to connect, longer to load pages and impossible to do things like watch a video.
Teachers here with Yahoo or Hotmail will say to me, “What did your email say? I can get into my inbox to see you’ve sent an email, but I can’t open the message.”
I created a “Funhouse” for our club days, for a group of primary kids, and they have seen it, but not visited it yet. I did get to read the scrolling book that I pre-loaded the first day, but since then the internet has been useless and sending them to image-rich websites would be a useless activity. (I loaded the Funhouse link above to get the address to link it here and the page has yet to load as I type this.)
So, blocking works. But at what cost. I’m scared to introduce Weebly to my staff because although it’s a great blogging platform that works here, I can only seem to get the editor to work after school when no one else is on the system. I know someone at Intel who says he can’t even upload work related photos on his home line. How many other businesses that rely on the internet are pulling their hair out? How do you do business in a connected world when the connection is severed?
I don’t turn on Tweetdeck at work anymore because I don’t want updates to steal bandwidth from my teachers. I’m a disconnected principal that enjoys being a connected principal.
The reality is that I’d like to think that information is free and accessible to all, but 1/5 of the population of the world have a filter on information, news… and learning!