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Using fair internet filtering policies

School districts sometimes overreact and filter out too many free web 2.0 tools that can enhance teaching and learning. Embracing more reasonable policies and having committees oversee the filtering decisions rather than an individual person creates a better process for allowing more technology into the school for free. Teachers are able to innovate using blogs, wikis, and many other web 2.0 tools without any cost to the school if these policies are flexible and fair.

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Submitted by Carolyn F. 2 years ago

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  1. The idea was posted
    2 years ago

Comments (7)

  1. I agree. There was a collective shout out a few weeks ago when the technology director in our district decided to unblock YouTube. But at this point, he has the power to decide about each individual site. A group of teachers and techies would be a better review team!

    2 years ago
  2. Let's not get to upset by this push-pull, give some/deny some approach. We are in the midst of a huge upheaval in not just teaching methods but understanding how communication and collaboration tools could be best used. The struggle to filter or enable goes on even in the business world where many assume people are more tech friendly.

    I've seen a lot of good changes in education (mainly in higher ed, but also in high schools), and heard the horror stories. Committees don't always make the best decisions at the micro level. We need collective minds to set the broad policy guidelines, then allow teachers to work out the specifics. The same people who like YouTube may not like wikis; those who think blogs are too 'opinionated' may love podcasts. I've been covering this topic for a long time. If anyone's interested, my latest column on social media in the classroom was just published by IABC magazine. More details here http://bit.ly/techschool1

    2 years ago
  3. Filtering is filtering. Just don't do it. I am a former (last year) 3rd grade teacher. Teach students and teachers appropriate and safe use. Don't censor student learning.

    2 years ago
  4. I work with the professionals in digital citizenship. One of the reasons we have such a problem is that often the administrators, give up the ideas of filtering , without

    sharing, involving and explaining, or doing professional development with teachers. There are tons of information that are free, but so many just filter everything of excellence out.

    2 years ago
  5. Not necessarily a filtering issue, but it falls under the umbrella of protecting minors--We can't overlook the importance of the terms of use. Many web 2.0 tools have age restrictions. For example, I was looking into http://www.teachbanzai.com/ for use with my sixth grade math students. The curriculum is designed for sixth graders however the terms of use restrict the online user to be at least 13 years old--an age where most students are in late 7th or 8th grade. We need to consider the terms of use as well.

    2 years ago
  6. check out CoSN's Guide to Rethinking AUPs: Moving from Acceptable to Responsible www.cosn.org/aupguide

    2 years ago
  7. I totally agree! When I used to run our District's IT Department I was able to implement a process whereby blocked sites could be added to a safe list and we made significant strides in offering social media and guided appropriate use to teachers and their students. However, when a new administration came on board they bowed to pressure from the ultra-conservative community to protect their own behinds and now I can`t even get to Facebook or Twitter to interact with reputable colleagues from the EdTech Community and many other fine educational and governmental institutions including HGSE, the White House, etc. What's worse is its adverse impact on teaching appropriate use and teaching 21st century skills/standards requiring these tools. So when top Gov`t officials grouse that the U.S. is way behind the rest of the globe competitively look to policymakers' and districts' decisions for keeping classrooms in the dark ages, as a significant contriubting factor. I was so disgusted that I deleted my very popular and persuasive @EdTechLeader twitter account out of protest. When will policymakers and the puritannical prohibitionists ever learn we are dumbing down our kids by this type of filtering? -David A. Ligon (former @EdTechLeader) http://worldwidewhoswho.com/David-Ligon

    2 years ago