Reflections on Instructional Technology and Media

Web Filters – A Poem April 10, 2008

We have a web filter
We are compliant with CIPA
We do not block applications
Needed by our teachers
To teach students
In the 21st century

Our filter blocks categories
Determined by a committee
Of teachers
And technology specialists
And media specialists
And district leaders

We block sites
To protect our children
Not to block instruction
When a teacher needs access
To a site that is blocked
We Unblock it

Requests to unblock sites
Are sent to an instructional leader
Not a technology hardware manager
Who is not grounded in
But is more concerned about
The network

We allow web 2.0 apps
Like blogs
And wikis
And podcasts
And video streaming
And social networks
And social bookmarks
And anything that will prepare
Our students to learn
In the 21st Century

We believe that a web filter should
Allow for creative learning
Not restrict it
We understand that students
Will sometimes encounter

Sites that are not appropriate
I would rather have students encounter
A small number of questionable sites
If that means they have access
To the tools they need to learn
Rather than having inadequate access to learning tools
In order to never encounter risky sites

I believe that students
Need to be taught
How to navigate the web
And all of its glory
And all of its dangers
If they are never exposed
How will they learn to be
Digital citizens

I am sad that there are students
In our state
In our country
Who cannot collaborate
With other students beyond their classroom
Because their school leaders
And district leaders
And teachers
And parents
Are scared

We have a web filter
We are compliant with CIPA
We do not block applications
Needed by our teachers
To teach students
In the 21st century


8 Responses to “Web Filters – A Poem”

  1. Wesley Fryer Says:

    This is the first poem I’ve ever read about content filtering and CIPA. Well done, and thanks for sharing. I should send this to our own school board.

  2. […] Web Filters – A Poem « PargoNet A poem by Tracy Weeks about content filtering (tags: internetsafety socialnetworking poetry policy school) […]

  3. justread Says:

    How creative. I’m passing this on to my tech guy and principal. I love it!

  4. Great poem, Tracy. We do need to leave the network folks out of instruction. It seems like as we get more non-educators working in schools, the further we move backward.

  5. Annette Giaquinto Says:

    Love the poem! It’s amazing how school staff members at many different levels will use their own interpretation of CIPA to say “no” and to block things. I am pleased to say that my district is not blocking these things – in fact, we are promoting Web 2.0. Oh, by the way – I am the Assistant Superintendent who works regularly with the Manager of Technological Services and the Instructional Technologist.

  6. Genny Kahlweiss Says:

    Perfect timing! This is a great poem. I am going to share this at my Technology committee meeting and I am also presenting to the parent board next week to kick off a meeting for updating theTechnology Plan for our school. We will be setting new goals for the next three year for our school and we want the elements of this poem to be included. Thanks for sending out this poem. I am in a private school.

  7. Genny Kahlweiss Says:

    I will share this poem with other technology teachers too. So they can continue to share it. Happy Sharing!

  8. My brother-in-law is originally from Mexico and nevertheless struggles to speak clear English. His ESL teacher suggested that he watch American television shows to pick up on idioms which are commonly used. He loves to Cant Filter Me. so, every chance he gets, he borrows our laptop to do just that. My husband and I prefer to see him succeed in this goal so we are considering purchasing him a laptop for his birthday. He would need to purchase World wide web access, but I consider they can afford that on their monthly budget. I haven’t addressed this with my sister yet, but hope to this weekend.

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