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Having worked educational technology both in schools and business I have found that there is often a great deal of misinformation about software used in schools for various purposes.
Internet filtering, when built to support and not hinder learning, can prevent phishing and malware sites from accessing school devices. If the software has been designed for schools it has features that prevent the over-blocking often found in filtering software built for the commercial market. When this software is set up properly teachers can provide access to sites which enhance their classroom instruction.
If you go to http://bit.ly/175iK5x you can read how filtering software can be used to block dangerous and malicious sites and provide access to sites that support learning.
Director of Spec. Projects, BASCOM
i understand the reason for filtering but i feel schools go way overboard with it there was this website I use for research and i used it all the time and got A's and now they blocked it for ad's. not only that the school can see every site we get on so why do they see the need to block websites. I think that there should be some restriction from computers just not as much as they are now.
I teach high school English at an online school. Our filtering system is so restrictive that we cannot even access some classic literature sites. We had some great audio books that are now blocked because they link to an "activist" site whatever that is. Technology is the basis of our school, yet we cannot set up blogs, use social networking tools, access Google Docs, etc. etc. It is supremely frustrating.
[quote]So frustrating to design a lesson plan at home only to realize I can't teach it in my classroom. So many teaching articles address Web 2.0, but we're years away from it.[quote
Our uncertified semi-professional IT's response to our outcries on their dis-informed blocking is for each teacher open a ticket, provide their UID & IP address (there's a challenge for most teachers), with copies of their lesson plans and page specific URL they need to be able access. This effectively filters the vast majority of teachers requesting access and greatly increases their workload/job security.
To the kids it's a joke because they can access…
Also, our students are showing us workarounds for the elemental blanket blocking.
Teachers & admin populations in general tend to lag technology, supporting IT's belief they are all dumb users that need to be protected and filtered as much, or more than the students. Staff need to be familiar with I'net resources, potential threats and workarounds.
IT needs to be open minded, certified and professional. Otherwise you have a heavy fisted district IT (like ours) where they learn how to use administrative tools real time on the district intranet at the expense of all users,rather than lab testing first.
As a former teacher/librarian, I object to filtering simply on the basis of censorship. I currently teach middle school Language Arts. Trying to do research reports is a nightmare! A blanket filter, over which my school has no control, blocks nearly a third of the sites students try to access, including the Hot Links list of sites I have already perused and given them to use. I don't understand how I'm supposed to teach responsible use of the Internet, critical analysis of information, without the opportunity to practice those skills. 6th graders recently had a VERY difficult time researching ancient Greek art! I guess you can figure that one out. They could access textual sites that had no visuals to support the text. Blah.
What I find particularly frustrating is finding a great site at home, checking it at school, thinking it will work, then finding it blocked when I try to access it in the classroom. Then, being told that it is not blocked by the central office folks.
I agree that we have to teach children to use the internet properly. But I do not think that children should have access to certain things. It is tricky though because teachers use things like Google images frequently (when creating smartboard lessons for example) but Google images can be very dangerous for children when teachers cannot see their screens. Doing a simple Google image search for "car wash" caused many problems in my school. Google images was blocked for a week or two and teachers were not happy.
ya watch not prevent without reason to lecture or scold if they are denied it without a true explanation they will only seek to view it from another source sometimes knowledge has no price value so think about that before you yell FILTER.
I have used a site one day and then the next day, access is denied. Very frustrating.