IM Reality

A. How many K12 schools ban IM?
B. How many University / Higher Ed Institution firewalls block it?
C. How many on-campus labs, cafes are fitted with ICQ, MSN & Yahoo on the desktop?

I’m just guessing here but I’d wager this is the story for the vast vast majority of organisations is:

A. Lots and lots… 90%+
B. Every single one
C. None (unless they have been user installed)

Do you reckon I’m about right?

If so we have a serious problem, as Robert Farmer (no relation :o) pointed out in 2003 (and which only just surfaced via someone… have forgotten again!) in Instant Messaging – Collaborative Tool or Educator’s nightmare! :

“74% of online teens use instant messaging. In comparison, 44% of online adults have used IM.
69% of online teens use IM at least several times a week.
19% of online teens say they use IM most often to contact their friends when they are not with them; and 8% use email.”

And this is especially interesting when compared to the forums we rely so much on:

I’ve spent all day reading predictions so am loathe to try it myself but what the heck :o) Forget RSS, blogs, wikis, open source etc. etc. etc. 2004 has been the year of SMS (txt & pxt) and 2005 will be when that explodes where IM and SMS meet, and then perhaps we’ll stop banning/prohibiting and making the most of the inevitable embrace with the most powerful communication tool since email…. or perhaps not…

3 replies on “IM Reality”

  1. Ironically, although our campus IT department blocks both BitTorrent and the iTunes Music Store, they do allow all IM traffic through (thankfully – I couldn’t do my job without it…)

  2. Stephen Heppel’s view on this:

    Schools normally react to technological change by confiscating it to protect the past: ballpoint pens to save our handwriting, calculators to save our arithmetic, digital watches to save our analogue timekeeping, mobile phones to save our…er well, just because they are new.

    Curiously, I was blogging this exact issue this time last year, also encourging schools not to ban IM.

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