Saturday, March 27, 2010

School Filtering Programs

I found this slide show, Strategies for Fighting Internet Filtering on tips for how to address the issue of schools blocking specific Internet sites. For those teaching K-12, blocking sites creates problems when we know specific sites sponsor information that would be of value to our students. The slide show offers some suggestions of how to address the issue and ways in which teachers can teach responsible use of online sources. If you prefer you can view the presentation here instead of clicking on the link Strategies for Fighting Internet Filtering to view the presentation at the slideshare website.


Amy R. said...

Buffy Hamilton, the creator of the webinar about blocking certain internet sites in schools and in the workplace, outlines the strategies to remove such filters.
First she points out that the roadblocks to opening all sites are based on fear, misinformation, and misguided intentions.
In order to elminate the blocked sites, people must open lines of communication, tie intentions to curriculum standards, develop a plan, promote intellectual freedom and digital citizenship. (That last one is my favorite. I like the idea of digital citizenship.) Let students speak out in favor of removing blocked sites. Collect data to support the freedom of information.

Meggan said...

I completely agree with Amy. Recently, this has been a very annoying issue at my school. Students can't even use photostory! I have learned that you have to always tie what you want to do back to curriculum standards. That's the first thing I have been asked as a teacher...well, why do you need this site? What does it have to do with your curriculum? Data, data, really is frustrating though because it seems as if EVERYTHING is blocked for both teachers and students. I always wonder if it's possible to enable certain sites for teachers' laptops, but still block them for student use.

Judy said...

Meggan, Photo Story is not a site. It is software that is part of the Microsoft Suite. You merely download it from the Microsoft site. Perhaps your school does not allow downloading software, which is another matter, but not a filter blocking one. Photo Story is no different than using PowerPoint, so if you have PowerPoint on school computers, it makes sense to also have Photo Story. See if you Media Center personnel realize Photo Story is software, not an online site students need to use.

Christina said...

This slideshow provides some good tips for teachers with regards to changing internet filters within their schools. Personally I don't understand why teachers can't access YouTube and other websites. There are a lot of great educational videos on YouTube, and they're free! During my student teaching experience I was frustrated that I couldn't access some of the videos on this site. I understand why these sites are blocked to students, but I don't understand why teachers are also blocked from the same sites.

The slide show also mentioned the idea that we need to educate students on the internet and how to utilize it effectively. Instead of blocking websites maybe we should educate our students on which websites to stay away from and which websites are reputable. I noticed through my student teaching that students were able to get around the internet blocks on the school computers. They knew how to access YouTube and I had no idea! Therefore, internet filters seem pointless since students know how to get around them easily. The slideshow pointed out the importance of collecting data. I should document whenever I see students accessing blocked sites, and whenever I see YouTube videos that relate to my curriculum. Maybe we can solve the problem of internet filtering on teachers' computers.

Renee said...

I was really excited about this topic. Before seeing it I thought "oh wonderful, other teachers feel my frustration, I can hear others vent." Well I was surprised to find that if we want changes its up to us to make them happen. I don't even know who is in charge of the filtering in my school system. After seeing this presentation I will definately find out. I understand that many sites on the Internet should be blocked. But, I think that teachers should be given the opportunity to use certain sites provided that they serve an academic pupose.

Victoria Rich said...

Our high school blocks most sites, even youtube. Teachers have access but students do not. The filter is lighter than at the lower levels but it still blocks most sites. The administration is pretty flexible if you present valid reasons but they tend to unblock only for your particular students and only for a short time. That said there are very few students in my school who do not know how to get around the blocks. They are way savvier than the tech guys. I think technology is moving faster than the decision makers. understand the

Linda Turbide said...

I believe that blocking certain internet sites is counterproductive to what we are trying to do in high school; that is to educate students to make appropriate choices and to become good global citizens. Does anyone believe that by blocking sites the students will not go on those sites that they are very curious to see?

Linda T

Jess said...

I was very happy that my school decided to remove the block from youtube last year. It literally broadened the available resources to use with students.

The webinar accurately points out the real issues, which is not "protecting" students by blocking sites, but teaching students how to use the internet appropriately. This should be intergrated into all classes, and with the message emphasized by teachers and through district policies and uniform enforcment of them, we will teacher students to be good digital citizens, as Linda pointed out.

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