A post I’ve been meaning to write for many months…
I have had my battles with Internet filtering in the past, but I’m now the man in charge. Every school I have worked in so far in my opinion has had an old fashioned ‘head in the sand’ view to filtering and acceptable use of the Internet within school. I’ve ranted about this in the past.
I would estimate that 95% of our pupils now own a mobile phone, and that 80% of these have unrestricted access to the Internet on these devices. This doesn’t factor in devices such as netbooks, iPod Touches and PSPs that are also brought into school. What this leads to is unrestricted, unfiltered access to the Internet within our school, and at a pace and quality that is ever increasing. I also regularly receive requests from teachers to block this that and the other as a classroom management tool.
I strongly believe that in response to this situation we need a new approach to Internet access within schools, something that still protects our children but also that prepares them for the World in which they live.
This comes in 3 parts:
- An Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) that is relevant, understood by all parties and linked closely to general school behaviour policies.
- Relatively unfiltered Internet access.
- Quality monitoring solutions.