Internet Filtering for Schools Meets Educational Challenges
A school Internet filter addresses the dynamics of an instructional environment and masters many educational challenges. It has the ability to accommodate each of the learning scenarios defined below. This empowers teachers; they’ve always been able to make decisions on selecting books or other educational resources, and by using a school filter, they are still able to select the web content they want to support their lessons.
Internet filtering for schools limits overblocking and allows a teacher to choose the websites they need. This is accomplished by enabling the IT department to delegate access privileges to educators while also enforcing the school AUP.
A Non-School Filter Falls Short in Education
Filters not designed specifically to address the dynamics of an instructional environment will fall short in addressing the challenges sited below. Though they may have the ability to address each of these cases, the solutions are generally time-consuming to implement and require the intervention of an already overburdened IT support team. When overblocking occurs, a teacher will ask the IT department to open access or he will simply move on, thereby missing out on the educational value of that site. Filters not specifically designed for schools are like the square peg. They do not fit the round hole presented by the needs of Information Technology specialists and educators.
Below are specific examples of learning scenarios in which a teacher may want access to web content that has value for a particular class and/or lesson.
Category Blocked: Game
Scenario: An Elementary school teacher is doing a lesson on the importance of infrastructure in civilization and wants to use a game site so that the students can simulate building a city.
Non-School Filter: The teacher can’t use the site since the Game category is blocked.
School Filter: The site is accessible because it is also categorized as an educational site. Although it is a game, it offers instructional content, so it is allowed.
Category Blocked: Crime/Hate/Violence
Scenario: For a High School Sociology class, the teacher wants to give students access to hate sites so they can study the evolution of hate groups and violence in our society.
Non-School Filter: Teachers cannot readily get access to the site because the Crime/Hate/Violence category is blocked and there is no efficient way to unblock it.
School Filter: Access privileges to the Crime/Hate/Violence category are given to this High School teacher. He is then able to allow his students to view certain sites he has reviewed within that category and found to be valuable for instructional reasons.
Category Blocked: Social Networking
Scenario: For an AP History class, the teacher wants students to interact and role play as an historical character by creating Facebook pages.
Non-School Filter: Teachers can’t use Facebook because the Social Networking category is blocked.
School Filter: Access privileges are given to this AP teacher so that she can create a private Facebook account for this class.
Learn More About the Benefits of BASCOM's Internet Filtering for Schools
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