Miguel is very upset over a few feature, the Image Wall, just added to Bloglines. Upset to the point that he will no longer recommend the site to his teachers and is calling for an educator boycott of the site.

Image Wall displays a continually changing matrix of images taken from the RSS feeds being monitored by Bloglines subscribers. As a result Miguel found some of the pictures in the stream to be inappropriate.

I won’t be participating in the boycott.

Bloglines is a great tool – as is flickr, Google Reader, Wikipedia, and many other sites vilified by someone. But, as with any other tools, teachers need to understand how to use them appropriately.

I never offer an unconditional recommendation for classroom use of a web resource (not even my own) and there are very few, if any, sites students should be using without restrictions.

Any educational use of the web must be part of a solid learning plan and students should be connected only with adult guidance.

Teachers (and parents) also need to understand the nature of the web.  Everything is linked eventually to everything else. Even if you start at the safest, most benign page, eventually a student could find something that someone would consider offensive.

Beyond all that, it’s just not that easy to find the Image Wall page on Bloglines site. [It also seems to be missing as of the time of this posting.]

When I bring up my personal feeds, the page I would send students to use, a link to the image matrix is nowhere to be seen. I couldn’t even find a link on the Bloglines main page.

Certainly you should express your opinion about this new feature to the owners of Bloglines. As a business, they should know when their customers are dissatisfied.

However, the answer is not boycotts or trying to block everything objectionable.

Either we as educators must learn how to manage and use the very valuable parts of the real world that are leaking through our walls.

Or cut the wires and completely shut that would out.

bloglines, image wall, boycott