Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Web Filtering and Blocked Sites at School

This morning, one of my peeps on Twitter posted a link to their most recent blog post. The title really caught my and I thought that the post was something that I could use in my classroom right away.
Two Strategies to Unblock Internet in Schools

This is from the Gravity and Levity blog written by David Marcus Title.

I immediately thought, "Great, Twitter and You Tube at school. What could be better."

Sadly, the strategies weren't something magical. Rather they were to teach technology responsibly and show a parents that their children are learning the right ways to use technology. I was a bit bugged but quickly realized that Mr. Title is right on and I am already doing what he is asking.

Show students the right way to use technology for learning and teaching. Show them how to be safe online. Encourage them to learn new skills. Monitor them closely. Let parents into the loop. Work the people in charge to show them that they can let teachers and students use certain things that they might want blocked.

However, this is what I wrote in response on the blog:
You are preaching to the choir. In the words of my Pastor, "All God's people say?" AMEN!!!

I think those of us that really are serious about using web 2.0 in classrooms take the time to preach about safety and acceptable use.

It's the teachers who aren't that serious and get into the lab once or twice a year that ruin it because they haven't prepared their students. It's always a few that ruin it for the rest.

In a big district, the dedicated few who are using Web 2.0 responsibly are out-numbered by those who don't think of all the consequences of using technology with students. Those who put students into the computer lab with vague instructions, guidance and planning on how the technology can be most useful.

That, my friends, is a complicated issue to deal with.

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