Friday, January 23, 2009

Thank You - Social Networking Proven Valuable Again

Those of you that follow me on Twitter or Facebook probably know that my school district recently proposed new Internet use policies that would have effectively decreased by 50% the number of websites that teachers and students can use. When I first read the proposed policies I put out some pleas for help on Twitter. Many of you responded with links to articles and studies that defend the value of open access to the Internet. Since that time I organized an ad-hoc committee of teachers and administrators in my school district to look at those examples. Although the committee was able to make suggestions, the final decision making power rested with administration. This afternoon I was notified that the district has reversed course and is going to allow access to social networking sites (including Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter), wikis, and blogs!

Thank you to everyone that sent me links, suggestions, and encouragement over the last four weeks. Without your help, I'm not sure my district administrators would have changed course. For those of you engaged in similar fights, keep at it. Here are a handful of the links that were sent to me when I needed help.

A Second Life for Educators
New Study Shows Time Spent Online Important for Teen Development
Understanding Content Filtering
Content Filtering in Schools: Best Practices for K-12
ALA Statement on Library Use of Filtering Software