Wednesday, February 8, 2012

MyNotes - What Content Are You Filtering? #tcea2012

During the TCEA 2012 System Administrators' Academy, I had the opportunity to Bryan P. Doyle (Bastrop ISD) share his enlightened perspective regarding content filtering. A recurring theme of the TCEA 2012 SysAdmin Academy continues to be the inevitability of the changes rushing at K-12 schools, fueled by powerful personal technologies and people's seemingly insatiable desire to be connected anytime, anywhere.

My favorite quote of the session comes from Gail Lovely, whom I ran into at the TCEA 2012 Web 2 Lounge around 7:50am this Wednesday morning
"Censoring doesn't protect students, it hinders the development of the ability to choose and react appropriately while they're still supervised" Gail Lovely (glovely) via Twitter (02/18/2012)
Left to Right: Gail Lovely (@glovely) and Miguel Guhlin (@mguhlin)

"What Content Are You Filtering?"
  1. Overview of what CIPA requirements are and what you actually are required to block, as well as talking about the whole mindset. It applies to both sides, instructional and information technology.
  2. What does that mean? CIPA compliant?
  3. CIPA only applies to minors...teachers/adults do not have to be blocked.
  4. What if you had a student who was not a minor? Bryan says, "Not according to the document" displayed on the screen.
  5. There are a lot of things that we are blocking...sometimes it's for children, teachers, but CIPA is only about minors.
  6. CIPA does not require the tracking of Internet use by minors or adults.
  7. CIPA does not affect E-rate funding for schools and libraries receiving discounts only for telecommunications, such as telephone service.
  8. Are we the Internet police? We spend a lot of time monitoring, shutting things down. There are some things that we want to block because they are inappropriate, people are spending too much time on it. Rather than redirect staff, we use technology to block it. This has a severe impact on tech staff time.
  9. "Strongest internet filter in the world is the brain" @coolcatteacher via Twitter
  10. We tend to rely on software to categorize web sites. Sometimes, computers are wrong.
  11.  "Censoring doesn't protect students, it hinders the development of the ability to choose and react appropriately while they're still supervised" Gail Lovely (glovely) via Twitter (02/18/2012)
  12. "We become the digital playground supervisors providing them guidelines on how to stay safe. Playground equipment is full of dangers but the benefits, we hope, outweigh the dangers. Same with the web." -Dean Shareski
  13. "Accessing YouTube is not violating CIPA rules. 'Absoltely it's not circumventing the rules," Cator says. "The rule is to block inappropriate sites. All sorts of YouTube videos are helpful in explaining complex concepts or telling a story or for hearing an expert or authentic voice--they present learning opportunities that are really helpful.'" - Karen Cator, Director of the Office of Educational Technology, USDOE
  14. So many of our kids, when they want to learn something new, they go to YouTube. One possible option is YouTube for Schools. 
  15. What content filtering is your district using?
  16. "Schools can allow access to social media"
  17. Bryan shares the story about the fire near Bastrop and how the District chose to allow Facebook, Twitter, and G+ to facilitate communications.
  18. "Social media also provides students with an audience they could never find within the four walls of a classroom."
  19. Copyright-friendly images -

Finally, Bryan's message and this Calvin & Hobbes cartoon came together for me!

The last panel in the cartoon above has relevance to this conversation, don't you think?

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Anonymous said...

It seems like everyone with at least half a brain understands where is the breakdown? Why are schools still blocking things for no reason?

Anonymous said...

"Censoring doesn't protect students, it hinders the development of the ability to choose and react appropriately while they're still supervised" Gail Lovely (glovely) via Twitter (02/18/2012)
Just curious... would leaving a loaded gun in the room be considered an opportunity to develope the ability to choose and react appropriately ??

Miguel Guhlin said...

@Anonymous - How can we leave a loaded gun in a room AND show young adults how to be cognizant and respectful of the threat a weapon that can take your life represents?

In fact, finding the answer to that question was the central challenge of the American frontier and Old West, no? The question you ask focuses us in the wrong direction.

Far better to ask, why aren't we able to develop responsible and appropriate ways of behaving and thinking so that we don't have to resort to banning/blocking and instead rely on trust?

Relationships matter. It's time to build those with our children.

The Courage to Lead