Filters Work

Flickr Image “Stay Behind the Fence” by Daniel James

The Internet has increasingly become a common and essential element of teacher lessons.  However, when asked about getting around the government-required filters, to conduct the deep research required to find the best resources,

..a frequent response is, “I have no idea.” The next most-common response: “I have no idea, but when I need to get to a blocked site, I ask a student for help.”

A recent Justin Reich op-ed piece (In Schools, A Firewall that Works Too Well) in the Washington Post (brought to my attention by Thomas Daccord) explores some of the issues of schooling in a world wide web that is fenced off.  He starts the piece with…

Web site filters in schools have had tremendous success in keeping one group of people from freely searching online. Unfortunately, that group is teachers.

Reich describes a Facebook group, with 187,000 members, devoted to sharing strategies for getting around school and library filters.  I won’t take any more from your reading of the article, except for one of his final statements.

The best strategy for protecting students online is educating them about Internet citizenship and safety. Young people need to learn about safeguarding their personal information, handling cyber-bullying, reporting and ignoring advances from strangers, avoiding online scams, and being courteous in online communication. They must understand the dangers and consequences of making details of their private lives available to the public. This education needs to happen at home as well as in homerooms, health classes, school assemblies, technology classes and guidance counseling.

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.