Most K-12 teachers have experienced the impediment of blocked websites and denied access to tools (Gmail, Twitter) they use everywhere else in their lives, and the frustration is doubly acute for those teaching journalism, for which social media increasingly is indispensable.This week, a coalition of education and technology advocates -- including the Student Press Law Center -- set forth a series of conversation-starting recommendations aimed at rebooting school technology policies.
A school district in Missouri is the first in the country to face a lawsuit brought on by the American Civil Liberties Union’s “Don’t Filter Me!” campaign, an initiative designed to take one-sided Internet filtering to task.The ACLU filed a lawsuit Monday against the Camdenton R-III School District for its custom-built filtering software that blocks sites for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities while still allowing anti-LGBT sites.The filtering software the district uses employs the website database URL Blacklist, which includes viewpoint-neutral categories blocking sexually explicit sites in addition to a “sexuality” category that blocks sites with LGBT information, including sites that are not sexually explicit.The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four LGBT organizations that were blocked in the district: PFLAG National (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian and Gays), the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Campus Pride, and DignityUSA.
While school systems are battling over $500 million in federal "Race to the Top" incentive funding, many states are simultaneously "racing to the bottom" to see who can enact the most ill-considered, ineffective, and constitutionally shaky policies restricting teachers' use of technology.The current "leader" is Missouri, where a new state law recently signed by Gov.
Rhode Island’s legislature is poised to put the state atop a list that none should aspire to lead: Most backward in incorporating technology into teaching.In a well-motivated quest to respond to uncivil bullying speech, the Senate gave final passage Thursday to an anti-bullying measure that includes a blanket prohibition on the use of social networking sites on school grounds during school hours.Unless vetoed by Gov.
Virginia teachers have gained a brief reprieve from guidelines restricting them from communicating with students by text messages, posts on social-networking sites and other non-school "platforms."As requested by the Student Press Law Center and others, the Virginia Board of Education has postponed a scheduled Jan.