When you want a website unblocked at your school, how many times do you ask if it’s not done by the IT department in a reasonable amount of time? (Or for most small schools, the individual or company responsible for “whitelisting” websites on the content filter doesn’t unblock your requested site.) One time? Two times? Three times? Maybe we all need to KEEP ASKING until we get the result we want and need: An unblocked website. Consider the following quotation from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who was interviewed for an article in Arstechnica recently:
At the end of the day, businesses, when a consu… when a user—let me not use the word “consumer”—when a user comes into work and asks for something over and over, IT’s going to have to give it to them. Now, do I expect the user to come in and say they really want their company to use SQL Server versus Oracle? No. But anything the consumer can use at home, they will develop a point of view on and ask for it at work. And eventually, IT will give it to them.
I think this quotation is potentially very instructive. Does your IT department block your access and student access to a particular blog or wiki tool now? Write up your request to have it unblocked and explain the reasons why. Then, if the request is turned down, submit the request again a month later. There is a Biblical parable which comes to mind in situations like this. It is sometimes referred to as the story of “The Friend at Midnight.” You can find it in Luke 11:5-13. The lesson is, persistently asking for reasonable things gets results. This is most likely true with school IT departments as well, especially when requests are submitted professionally, with logical and clear explanations, and repeatedly.