I think if you follow my rants, I often talk about the restrictions to various social media sites. My practicum sites and the school I work in are in NYC. The NYCDOE uses something called WebSense to filter student access. It’s a horrible filter, practically blocking all social media sites. Mary Ann Bell has basically voiced a lot of my frustration with filtering in her article “Do You Want Kids to Be Safe Online? LOOSEN Those Filters!”
A teacher wanted to show some videos from Youtube, only to find out that he was blocked by WebSense. Fortunately, I have an administrative line that doesn’t go through WebSense. I was able to get him the videos before his class. At my first practicum site, they didn’t even know about the administrative line until I told them about it. They requested one when I was there for my fieldwork in September 2010. When I went back in April-May 2010 for my practicum, they still have not gotten it yet.
I’ve seen students who wanted to learn more about something from class and being stopped by WebSense. Recently, I talked to a student who tried to access Wolfram Alpha. It was blocked. I really don’t understand why certain sites are blocked.