Unblocking Blocked Websites: Framing the Argument

Much to the frustration of many teachers, websites that could be used to engage learners are blocked at school. Many school districts, with good intentions of protecting students (and teachers) have taken a very heavy handed approach with regard to online access to websites-especially (social) networking sites. It is the rare school district that allows access to Facebook. Many others do not allow access to You Tube, Gmail accounts, Ning Networks or Twitter.

But as many teachers know, all of the sites mentioned in the previous sentence can and do have educational value if used properly. It is also known that technology can be used to effectively engage learners and to differentiate learning. Knowing this, however, doesn't help convince those with the authority to unblock sites that have potential educational value. The argument for doing so has to include HOW these websites have educational value. And HOW other districts, schools, teachers and administrators are using these online sites/tools.

Here are some resources that can help begin the conversation. If you use sites and tools in your classes, please share your blog/site and what you do. Did you have to convince anyone to unblock sites that you use regularly? If so, how did you do it? Your story is immensely valuable to others.
Using Technology for the sole purpose of using technology is pointless. As we frame the argument about it's use, it is important to consider the words of Principal Jonathan Martin:
What are we doing as educators to meaningfully engage our students, to give them the autonomy, purpose, and opportunity for mastery which they crave and to which they respond with focus, energy, enthusiasm, and diligence?

How can technology help? Framing the argument with these credible, educational goals in mind helps to move us forward in the right direction-to a future of unrestricted access. I'm reading: Unblocking Blocked Websites: Framing the Argument Tweet this!

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