Around the nation there are schools that are making the choice to do what is most convenient rather than what is right for kids. Rather than thinking outside the ban and empowering children to use the devices they own and access the internet they encounter outside of school, students are being banned and blocked. In an effort to start a national conversation about filtering as a censorship issue in schools, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) designated last September 28th, 2011 as Banned Websites Awareness Day. In May of 2011, the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN) released its guidelines for developing 21st century-friendly Acceptably Use Policies. Lisa Nielsen collaborated with Tom Whitby on The Words Simplest Online Safety Policy in April 2011. In spite of this growing conversation about unblocking, there is legislation in states like Missouri prohibiting educators from frieinding students on Facebook.
What is the difference between students in schools that filter aggressively and ban and schools that dont? What evidence do we have to demonstrate that there is a difference at all? If there is, is that difference relevant? Meaningful? Important? What do students have to say about it? Do they care? This sessions objective is to sort through the WHY questions, not the should or shouldn't questions.
Participants will collaborate to build an inventory of rationales for unblocking social media, and compile a list of strategies for implementation that will demonstrate positive impact on teaching and learning, particularly in the realm of 21st century learning.
Jigsaw-ish facilitate conversation. Google Docs to record session responses - all added to http://bannedsites.info website by end of conference.