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Unintended Consequences: Content


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Unintended Consequences: Content

  1. 1. Unintended Consequences t h e l o c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f f e d e r a l p o l i c y - c o n t e n t f i l t e r i n g p o l i c y i n H a w a i i p u b l i c s c h o o l sSaturday, December 4, 2010
  2. 2. Abstract In the absence of leadership in the Hawaii Department of Education with requisite technological expertise to understand the changes in learning, teaching and society that have occurred between the late 1990’s and the present with regard to internet access and use, the responsibility for developing, implementing and enforcing content-access policies made necessary by FCC E-rate requirements under the Children’s Internet Protection Act was left to office workers who are not educators. The result is content-filtering and content-access policies that do not serve the needs of students or teachers in a twenty-first century learning environment. This paper examines the problem, the background, and proposes possible policy change alternatives.Saturday, December 4, 2010
  3. 3. the Problem A student in AP Chem takes her laptop to the School Library and attempts to view a video podcast of a Chemistry 1A lecture from UC Berkeley via iTunesU - she cannot A high school Psychology teacher wants to project a video of Piaget working with children from YouTube.Edu to her classroom SMARTboard. - she cannot A 12th grade AP Gov student wants to research and present to his class information about how local candidates use Social Media to reach voters - he cannot in Hawaii’s public schoolsSaturday, December 4, 2010
  4. 4. The Problem II 17 and 18 year-old high school students and adult teachers are restricted in access to the internet at the same level as are kindergarteners and first graders decisions regarding content filtering policies were not made by operational “policy-makers” (Superintendent and Ass’t Superintendent level) but by office workers who are not educators HIDOE content filtering policies were created in response to a decade-old federal law and have not changed with the changing realities of teaching and learning in the 21st centurySaturday, December 4, 2010
  5. 5. Background In the late 1990’s, before Facebook (2006), YouTube (2005) and Wikipedia (2001), use of the internet in schools was not commonplace Media coverage of the perils awaiting children in “chat-rooms” and prevalence of internet pornography encouraged the introduction in 1999 and passage of S 97 IS, the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Federal funding of school technology through E-rate was tied to the provisions of CIPASaturday, December 4, 2010
  6. 6. Background II CIPA and E-rate “Schools and libraries subject to CIPA may not receive the discounts offered by the E-rate program unless they certify that they have an Internet safety policy that includes technology protection measures. The protection measures must block or filter Internet access to pictures that are: (a) obscene, (b) child pornography, or (c) harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors). Before adopting this Internet safety policy, schools and libraries must provide reasonable notice and hold at least one public hearing or meeting to address the proposal.”Saturday, December 4, 2010
  7. 7. Background III interpretation by HIDOE In the absence of educational leadership in the HIDOE conversant with the growing and changing role of digital technology in teaching and learning as well as the changing impact of the internet on children and society: responsibility for compliance with CIPA/E-rate was delegated to workers in the HIDOE Network Services and Support Branch (NSSB) there are no educators currently working in this branch and the Chief Information Officer for the HIDOE is not an educator (the Superintendent of HIDOE is also not an educator)Saturday, December 4, 2010
  8. 8. Background IV interpretation by the HIDOE NSSB contracted a private vendor, Websense, to provide content-filtering for the domain content-filtering policies go far beyond the intent of the original statute and hinder the ability of teachers to teach and students to learn in a 21st century educational environmentSaturday, December 4, 2010
  9. 9. criteria for an effective policy change a policy change ought to meet the following minimum criteria: 1) It must comply with Federal law. 2) It must reasonably address the duty of care of the school to the child. 3) It should support the HIDOE General Learner Outcomes by helping children in schools become effective and ethical users of contemporary technologies. 4) It needs to take into account the needs of educators and students in a twenty-first century learning environment as well as provide for the concerns of the other stake-holders. 5) It should be economically feasible. Implementation of the policy alternative should not place an undue burden on schools or the Department.Saturday, December 4, 2010
  10. 10. Policy Options the so-called Zero Option: assumes that mechanisms exist within the present policy structure to mitigate the problems of the current policy situation no system-wide policy eliminate system-wide content filtering and make compliance with FCC/E-rate the responsibility of individual schoolsSaturday, December 4, 2010
  11. 11. Policy Options II the Zero Option is not appropriate since repeated efforts by schools, individuals, and even a State Senator have not resulted in any substantive change and students and teachers in schools have gone to great lengths to find ways around HIDOE policy in their efforts to provide a 21st century educational environment. the elimination of system-wide filtering policies is also not viable due to the requirements of federal law and the duty-of-care of the Department to take reasonable efforts to provide for the safety and security of children in its chargeSaturday, December 4, 2010
  12. 12. proposed policy change I A successful policy alternative will most likely be one that retains a level of system-wide content-filtering that is consistent with the requirements of CIPA/E-rate. At the school-level, filtering models and software will be made available and in consultation with educators, determinations will need to be made about how to frame a policy of progressively greater access and responsibility. Questions will need to be posed and answered about what is age- appropriate for a first-grader to access, what is appropriate for a high- school student in a university-level class to access, and what tools should teachers have available.Saturday, December 4, 2010
  13. 13. proposed policy change II A group exists in each school for eliciting information from all segments of the school-community. School-Community Councils should be part of the conversation regarding Internet access in the schools. Additionally, teachers will need to become more informed and educated regarding the world of twenty-first century digital natives (students) and will need the guidance of Administrators who are also aware of the realities of legal requirements, budgetary constraint, and pedagogical appropriateness. Finally, there must be a greater transparency between the people and the offices that exist to support teaching and learning in the schools and the end-users who provide students with the skills, aptitudes and habits of mind they will need to be successful in the world in which they will live and work.Saturday, December 4, 2010
  14. 14. QUESTIONS?Saturday, December 4, 2010