Yes, we have the Child Internet Protect Act, but maybe it is time to revisit and revise this act.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, states: People in the 21st century live in a technology and media-suffused environment, marked by various characteristics, including: 1) access to an abundance of information, 2) rapid changes in technology tools, and 3) the ability to collaborate and make individual contributions on an unprecedented scale. To be effective in the 21st century, citizens and workers must be able to exhibit a range of functional and critical thinking skills related to information, media and technology.
Block students from Internet sites-
How will we teach students appropriate use of technology if we determine for them what is appropriate and what is not appropriate?
Do we not allow students to talk in fear that they might cuss?
Do we not allow students to ______ because they might _____? (You fill in the blank.
- Are they not professionals?
- Do they not live by a code of ethics?
- Do we not trust in their ability to be critical thinkers?
A few YouTubes (oh, no!! Not that! YouTube MUST be blocked! We know what terrible things students and staff can get into if we allow access to YouTube!) you may appreciate:
A search on the topic of "why block school from the Internet?" will bring many links on how to sneak in through the back door. Do we want to teach our students to sneak in through the back door? How will this prepare them for the real world?
From a teacher that teaches high school severely disabled students:
Schools are prohibited from restricting access to information on the Internet -- much in the same way that censoring books is unlawful -- says Joshua Block, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. He writes that, in some cases, software companies that provide Internet-filtering software are blocking material that should be allowed, including references to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered content. However, Block writes that the buck ultimately stops with schools, which must provide additional oversight to ensure sites are not unlawfully censored.
We are only talking about the Internet lock downs here. I haven't even begun to talk about the hardware lock downs and the frustrations that limited access causes teachers to not be able to do their job. Teachers' hands are tied not by their professionalism but by the IT departments' and administrators' rules. Please, let us do our jobs...