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Get real! Structured assignments keep learners on-task.
Nonetheless, my district blocks everything. It is to the point of hindering instruction and learning. Only a specified person is authorized to perform routine web application upgrades, e.g., Flash Player or even Acrobat. One teacher's father bought a printer for her classroom...that was three weeks ago; can't be installed without admin. privileges.
Here, there is a huge budget deficit district-wide. As a result, the resources for tech response from the Help Desk has atrophied. Our computer lab just received response to failed server connection six weeks into this school year!
In addition, Teachers are prohibited from using the school's Internet access network, if, for example, a privately owned laptop is the system to be interfaced; it's a no-go even given those long ago laptops our governor passed out to teachers.
I suppose, tech services must be commensurately competent and funded to allow such a diverse array of requests for Net access.
The fact is that as children get older and learn to take more responsibility for their actions and the consequences of those actions, they should be allowed more less restricted access to internet sites.
I wouldn't want my preschool students to have unlimited access to the internet becuase some of them would know enough to get into trouble. However, as was previously mentioned, high school seniors are legally adults and should know what appropriate limits are at school without having them rigidly imposed.
It is a matter of teaching personal responsibility and personal consiquences at an age appropriate level.
I can't help but agree with Janet's comments above. Students need to learn to be responsible and click on only the links that are appropriate. At the same time, teachers and parents need to monitor student activity and reinforce policies concerning inappropriate usage of technology. By requiring the filtering of internet, are we skirting the issue of taking on this responsibility that students need to develop?
Some teachers who want everything blocked, locked down, taken out, restricted. What a waste of valuable learning opportunities. Our students need to learn that they have responsibilities when using the Internet, just as they do when they live their daily lives outside of school. Do not miss the opportunity to candidly and openly discuss with students the validity of content they find and "how" to verify what they find. After all, we're teaching, not trying for a shocking reality TV show.
Access responsibly; question content; quote sources.
When you take the time to build a collaborative learning community in which kids are known well and understand the expectations, filters become a moot point. As commented previously, filters can prevent access to important learning opportunities and mistakes, when they happen, are *also* valuable opportunities for teaching and learning.
The controls should not be district-wide! Settings for K-5 should not be the same as for 9-12. The higher the grade the less filtering. 12th graders are essentially voting adults.
Couldn't! My district blocks it!
I want to teach them how to be responsible and sometimes that means they have to make mistakes.
I would rather kids make mistakes now and suffer consequences before they go into the work force.
Besides, because of e-rate our system blocks EVERYTHING. As a school counselor, our filter system blocks certain information that could help me educate the students better.
The filters can make using the tools available on the internet very difficult. We can't use blogs or Twitter. I wanted to show an interview from The Daily Show that was about a young man who made an electric generating windmill using scraps by reading a library book in Malawi. What a great lesson but I can't show the video.
We don't have enough computers but I am not allowed to bring in my own laptop and connect it to the network. How can we teach 21st century skills without the tools we need. How can we teach judgment when the students have had all of the need for judgment taken from them?
The school districts must have filtering in place to be able to afford the Internet access. Federal funds (for Internet access) via e-rate require filtering and expect that the Internet use will be for educational purposes only. Their bottom line appears to be: "How does Internet access raise test scores?"
In addition to the required filters teachers must monitor what students are doing/accessing. By planning ahead, selecting appropriate sites, giving students guidance (and limitations) regarding the assignment, then watching what the students are doing, we can attain the goals of providing a quality experience without the presence of questionable content.