Under the guise of student safety, many school districts are choosing to block various websites. My personal favourite excuses for blocking sites because students are ‘off task’ and ‘facebooking’ too much. Using this train of thinking, students will somehow be more on-task and focused when we block sites. I guess this would mean banning books would improve student reading?
I work in a great district which blocks almost nothing beyond the most inappropriate sites. We have a broad belief that the internet is an educational resource that should be open to all current and unanticipated future uses. We believe that educators are creative caring individuals and will think of ways to use social media and other sites in ways we can’t even imagine right now. I’m a huge proponent of keeping the internet open and free for all students and teachers.
There was a great twitter discussion on September 9th about this topic. You can find the tweets under the search term #edchat. There was an amazing response and re-tweet to this original post ‘RT @plevy: All schools and universities should open access to social media #edchat’
I’d be interested in hearing from others. How much is filtered at your school/district?