If you’re tired of me whining about web censorship filtering, then you may as well head off to the next item in your aggregator because this could be a long rant.
Monday the IT folks in our overly large school district imposed the blocking system from our new vendor on all our elementary schools and the administrative offices. (I guess they think we act like children around here. :-)
As a result this site is now blocked since I’ve been tossed into the Message Boards and Forums category. Obviously, the writing around here is a threat to the youth of America.
In my spare time this week I’ve been submitting requests to have a long list of sites unblocked (fortunately, my boss approved them) but it’s not that effort that bothers me.
It’s the totally inconsistent classification and blocking of web sites which is very much symptomatic of the arbitrary, sometimes knee-jerk rules we often impose on students in the name of keeping them safe.
Instead of using the electronic filters sparingly (there are certainly sites that need to be kept out of the classroom) and then teaching the kids how to evaluate and filter the rest for themselves, we throw up a porous chain-link fence, offering administrators a false sense of security.
While I have lots of criticism for the people who administer the web filtering system for our district, the larger problem here is the company behind the curtain that we’re paying large amounts of money to provide this piece of crap.
They are the ones who capriciously decided that certain blogs permitting comments (probably moderated) are the same as sites offering free and unrestricted discussions.
And who also ruled that similar sites, discussing the same topics, with the same comment systems are “safe”.
Ok. That’s enough on the subject for now.
However, this mess is probably only going to get worse.