The NY Times recently ran an article A Call for Opening Up Web Access at Schools which focused on Internet filtering in schools. At CCSD, the district manages its own filtering devices, and has the capability of filtering by grade level, as well as by role in the district (i.e. student, teacher, administrator). The decision to have granular control of our filtering became evident as students and teachers used the Internet on a more regular basis for learning and instruction. Clearly, we didn’t want to block hate sites and health education sites from high school students who rely on those resources for various courses and projects, but we did want to limit access to our younger students for whom the content would not be age appropriate. Managing our own filtering allows us to do so.
If a teacher or student is trying to access a web site and it is blocked, s/he will be presented with a screen that states the site is blocked and the category in which the site is listed. Filters are not always accurate, so if the site is unnecessarily blocked, please use our short form to let us know so we can quickly resolve the issue. Of course, some sites are blocked because of the high level of bandwidth they use or that they are not related in any way to our district’s goals. If in doubt, however, please don’t hesitate to let the Department of Instructional Technology know (via the form).