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What a great discussion. Reminds me of a slightly more polite version of the early Internet. :-) By way of giving a summation, I just want to underscore a few points once again. (And which Miles Fidelman made very well. I agree, Miles, that the statement we commented on looks very arrogant, but you have to admire the refreshing honesty of it. Even people I largely agree with are frequently not so wonderfully forthcoming with their real views.) (1) Why not simply punish the teachers who violate policy? Worry about and the threat of being caught is as big an enforcer of policy as actual sanctions. How might this look? Again, the filter can remain in place, but teachers (only teachers) can *override* the filter. When a teacher is logged in to a teacher account, and clicks on a link to a verboten site, an "are you sure?"-type prompt might pop up, together with a scary warning and a link to district policy; and then the accessed URLs go into a log, which the tech directors can then review. Maybe the URLs should be posted for *public* review, so the *parents* can look over the teacher's shoulder. Maybe that could be effective. Also, teachers might even be given a prompt to fill out an on-the-spot one-line written justification of why specific-URL access is needed. But then access is given instantly. This would make it simple to review teacher use of the Internet. If they violate policy, even with the scary warnings, their override privileges are removed for a time. Other appropriate sanctions could be devised, such as more frequent reviews of their browsing, or permanent notes on their records. Joe Frost, with all due respect, why should it be *your* job to ensure that teachers prepare a lesson plan before they view something on the Internet? If your answer is that you bear the responsibility for policy violations, my point is that you shouldn't--that the teachers should be made to do so. You then take responsibility for issuing sanctions for violating the policy. But maybe you're not in a position to make this happen. If you're implementing policy you're *not* responsible for, I wouldn't hold you personally accountable for its existence; maybe we should be complaining about/to school boards and/or superintendants. (2) Do these potential abuses really justify the harm done to *all* teachers and students in not being able to, for example, watch free educational videos online? (I would argue that preventing access to legitimate educational materials is harmful to the education of children.) In answering, it will not do to claim that the filters work pretty well. First of all, the fact that legit content is blocked is what we're talking about, after all, and if filters did not block a lot of such content, we wouldn't be having this conversation. If you need a good example, you can consider WatchKnow to be the poster child for this issue: its content is blocked by most districts because they block YouTube, and most districts do not have filters that allow the intelligent sort of filtering that would give access to it, as most districts in Tennessee have. Really, we're talking about making two things compete, which shouldn't be competing: on the one hand, there is freedom of access to high-quality educational information, and on the other hand, there is the district's desire not to have Internet filter policy violated. Both are important, but what is the higher priority? Education--not rules, especially over-strict bureaucratic rules. (3) Finally, please do not confuse letting teachers override the filters with giving students total access. I still don't know what Nancy's view on this is, but using filters at least to make it harder for students to access *obviously* inappropriate material on the Internet seems like a very good idea to me. But in doing that, it is a terrible idea to prevent teacher access to the resources they need for teaching. You Mordacs should proactively support and enable that, not prevent it. Regards, Larry ----- Lawrence M. Sanger, Ph.D. | http://www.larrysanger.org/ Editor-in-Chief, Citizendium | http://www.citizendium.org/ Executive Director, WatchKnow | http://www.watchknow.org/ firstname.lastname@example.org --- Edtech Archives, posting guidelines and other information are at: http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~edweb Please include your name, email address, and school or professional affiliation in each posting. To unsubscribe send the following command to: LISTSERV@H-NET.MSU.EDU SIGNOFF EDTECH