So, I'm just curious.  I'm new to 2.0 and am currently involved in learning more about how to incorporate 21st century tools in my classroom.  My question is this: have any of you found yourselves limited by technology in your schools, meaning that sites are blocked from access?  If so, how did you deal with it and what was the outcome?  Thanks for any remedies, suggestions, or solutions you can provide! 

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I am blocked from YouTube at my school, but I use zamzar.com to download the videos at home and bring them on my flash drive to work.
We have had issues with this for many years, but in the past two or three years we have finally convinced our tech people to start allowing access to sites like YouTube, Glogster, and others. It took many arguments and a lot of evidence to convince them to make the change and open up some, but it can be done!

Mark,

What kind of evidence are you talking about?  Our Tech guy is tremendously afraid of security and using third party software.  He even has issues with Google Docs, Delicious, dipity etc. . .  Anything you could offer would be great.

It's all about trying over and over again. It is also good idea if you can do a presentation to the senior management with an unblocked account to show them what's out there that is useful to teaching. 

This sometimes is an eye opener if the said people have not used the tools out there. This usually enables them to buy in to the technology and incorporate ideas into the overall strategy.

hello

yes sometimes students find difficulty to acess, sometimes problems of equipments as well

Ismail

So many great sites are not blocked! Sometimes you need to look for the "edu" version. For example, GlogsterEDU is great for education but Glogster is not. (too much soft porn)

The organizational schema may be better for you as a teacher, too, in education-focused sites.

TeacherTube and SchoolTube have lots of terrific videos, organized in ways that make sense to teachers, and every one of them is checked out in advance by an educator to be sure you won't get in trouble for showing them. I encourage all teachers to upload student work to one of these sites so that there will be lots of great stuff for other teachers to use! Particularly for younger kids and elementary schools, it's great to know that there are lots of pertinent things.

eFilms on ePals offers free documentaries from SnagFilms, with thought-provoking questions targeted for K12 students: http://bit.ly/fVX9FI

When you start looking around, you'll find there is plenty that you can use that is allowed.

Also, look for sites with TRUSTe certification. Those are almost always allowed by school district tech people, because it's an independent statement that this site won't create certain kinds of data problems.

The real issue is not the site but: What are your instructional goals? What are ways you hope to achieve those goals? Then what are the tools to use?

It's not "I want my students to use Glogster" but "Using GlogsterEDU, my students can ...."

Put instructional goals, not the tool, first!

And there are always multiple ways of achieving the goal.

Hi Sonya, We unfortunately have to block facebook too and many other sites to comply with CIPA, the Child Internet Protection Act. IE: the content can't be controlled; it includes everything from educational to adult materials and everything in between. We are pursuing RBAC, Role Based Access Controls. This means we can forget a one size fits all internet filter.

And instead.. have a filter that supports the mission of the business. For example: we will be able to allow Youtube for all staff and still keep students off it. That way a teacher can present the good stuff for the class and we still protect kids from all the trash thats also on youtube.

 

We are also looking at moving from Websense to the Cymphonix internet filter, its more granular and supports web 2. It also has the ability to immediately ID anyone that is abusing our rules and better manages our network bandwidth. There are also other promising technologies that enable web 2 and better protect us from Malware, Malicious Software, It steals data, logins, bank information and is a very serious issue for our country. IE: palo Alto networks makes a Next Gen firewall that is web 2 friendly, it allows parts of facebook, etc to be open this may provide more access to just the approved web 2 contents that students need.

 http://articles.cnn.com/2011-06-09/tech/twitter.school.reaction.sim...   http://www.cymphonix.com/   http://www.paloaltonetworks.com/index.php  omgclickheretogetscammed.com

 

hello George

i find your ideas very interesting; to control and filter internet and make of it web 2 friendly!

Thanks I really appreciate it.

I have been in Education for about 5 years. I came from a Corp America background; while our environment in K-12 is different in many ways, we are still all on the same internet. With all its benefits and its risk of data stealing malware and inappropriate materials for K-12.  To me its about balancing the risk vs the benefits, and if done properly its a Win, Win!

We also need to teach all users how to become responsible cyber citizens; that way we can give them more resources, and responsibility!  

 

Our Districts Security Motto: Users need to know that no matter what physical and technological devices are in place…Ultimately, it is user knowledge and action that will achieve the utmost security for the district!    My K-12 Cyber Story  http://omgclickheretogetscammed.com/

 

 

That is assuming a certain maturity level. Many middle school kids, many high school kids do not have the maturity level to weigh the risks and benefits.  Some will actually go with the risks.  Then, there parents will get involve.  In veritably, it is the parents of those kids who are the quickest to blame the school for their kids' trouble.  They haven't made their kids take responsibility for anything at home and likewise at school.

I want my school to unblock my computer so that I can show videos and material I have found appropriate and safe.  I understand why there can't and shouldn't be school-wide access to youtube and such.  It takes only minutes for students to be "finished" with their assignment and begin playing games, searching the net, etc.

 

Please be aware of Sound Cloud. We just learned about it. While it has legit Music and sounds, it also has as I expected Adult XXX Sound clips and Social networking.   I created an account and documented what I found. Not at all K-12 Appropriate!    

 

 

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