Oxford Blocks Google Docs

I hope that everyone is toasty and enjoying this beautiful dusting of snow.

In light of all of the conversation about technology that has been had in the Future Professoriate classes as well as in the majority of pedagogical workshops and conferences I have attended, I thought I’d share the following issue.

Within the last few weeks, Oxford University has blocked from campus the popular online collaboration tool, GoogleDocs.

Clearly, there are enormous benefits to integrating technology such as this into our students’ learning experience.  GoogleDocs, in particular, is a fantastic resource for real-time collaboration among students.

There are drawbacks, too, of course.  Generally, however, discussion that I’ve heard about the drawbacks of technology revolve around student tendencies toward distraction.  I’ve heard much less about upholding student privacy and safety online.

So I’d be interested in everyone’s opinion on this matter.  Has Oxford made the correct decision here?  How can we best provide students with a 21st century education while also protecting them from scams and hoaxes?

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