un-BLOCK the Internet at schools

If you’ve been following my blog or know me personally, you probably have figured out that I am an advocate of the use of ICTs, especially in schools.  I believe that schools should have NO blocks to the Internet.  Here are a few advantages of unblocking the Internet at school:

  1. teachable moments – unblocking will allow for educating our young citizens on digital citizenry and online ethics – let’s face it, a good majority of them are online outside of school anyway.  Shouldn’t we be authenticating that experience at school? YES!  Shouldn’t we be taking the opportunity to show them great ways to use ICTs for education, social networking etc?  YES!
  2. authenticity – a school with lots of blocked sites shows students that there is a lack of trust and a very narrow minded view of Internet use at the school.  Imagine the average (high school) student who has access to the Internet outside of school and then feels Internet-isolated at school…..what would you think?  where would you prefer to work/play?  Not at school, obviously!
  3. enhanced learning – this links to the authenticity point.  There is a lot of content at school that could be enhanced and made more interesting, authentic and “real” by the inclusion of web2.0 tools.
  4. alternatives – “all they want to do is play games”.  A common complaint heard by teachers regarding student’s use of computers.  If teachers used fun, interesting and new ways to embed ICTs within the curriculum, then students can see the advantages of using these types of web2.0 tools outside of school.  Personally, I don’t have a problem with gaming; I believe it teaches a lot of good skills; however, there should be a balance and I believe that balance could start at school.
  5. teacher learning – teachers lean ways to embed ICTs in relevant, authentic and interesting ways for students.  It’s a win-win situation!
  6. for management ease – far easier to teach Netiquette and digital citizenry then to have to manage blocking new sites all the time and monitoring whether students have out-smarted the block!

10 comments on “un-BLOCK the Internet at schools

  1. Elke, with the tech savvy kids of, adults who make the rules are deluded if they think students are being denied access. That only happens during school hours when we think kids do not lead a life outside school. We miss so much with our outdated technology rules. I love to turn kids loose, because it is their time to teach me and it is my time to learn. Each of your points is so bang on. Well said.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on Teacher as Transformer and commented:
    Here is a great post from a teacher from down under who spent time in Canada. I agree with her. What takes me aback is when all the tech gurus in their ivory towers argue classroom teachers are the Luddites. I don’t make the rules. I just have to be the bad cop in the classroom enforcing nonsense rules.

    Like

  3. MS says:

    I agree; your argument is persuasive
    MS

    Like

  4. […] The next couple of posts will be a continuation of my original post regarding unblocking Internet at Schools. […]

    Like

  5. […] Schneider, E. (2012, May). Un-block the internet at schools [blog post] Retrieved from https://elketeaches.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/unblock-internet/ […]

    Like

  6. […] with discussion about online activity.  Once we have cyber literate students then we can benefit from all of the wonderful ways that teaching & learning can be incorporated with Internet […]

    Like

  7. […] promote the idea of an open access and bring your own device (BYOD) type of schooling environment.  I understand the reasoning behind […]

    Like

  8. […] in social media; however, the overly-reported risks online has caused fear resulting in limited social media use in schools and disapproval by parents and the community (Ahn, 2011; Valenzuela et al., 2009).  Teachers that […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s