NYCDOE and Internet filtering

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.

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3 Responses to NYCDOE and Internet filtering

  1. Marilyn Arnone says:

    I am curious. Did you download the videos from YouTube and then give him the video files?

    Thanks for your post.

    • joncheng says:

      He wasted so much time trying to figure out why it wasn’t working that he had to start class. I actually walked into the middle of class to give him the videos. After class, I explained why it was not working and how to get the videos.

  2. Ok. You’ve satisfied my curiosity. Thanks.

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