Why are we still being filtered in school?

Because of the annoying blocking of YouTube by the powers that be in HeaNet, Seaghan Moriarty from Digilogue and Scoil.net has created Teachers’ TV – an Irish version.  Though the site is not completely finished, it is now live and accepting videos.  The idea was hatched because a number of teachers really wanted to use YouTube videos in class but couldn’t because of the block.  Despite the NCTE and HeaNet lightening their grip somewhat by allowing Twitter through the filtering, there is no sign of doing so for other popular Web 2.0 sites such as Flickr, YouTube or Facebook.

Teachers’ TV explains:

Well since Youtube is inaccessible from any school network (as enforced by HEANET) there is a need for another location that can be used to disseminate these learning resources to teachers, parents and children across the country. Unlike Youtube Teacher’s TV will only contain videos related to education and in the interests of child protection the site is fully moderated, i.e. we ensure that no video is published unless it has been reviewed and found to be relevant.

I think this web site is one of those ideas that just shows how resourceful we as teachers are, despite the obstacles put in our way.  While I completely understand why the filtering and blocking system was put in place back in the olden days (3 years ago), the web is now a social place and it’s near impossible to have a lot of meaningful learning without social media these days.  Sadly, the powers that be do not move as quickly as the real world so we need to find ways around them.

If I could move them on a little bit, I suggest that the choice is given to schools whether they want filtering at all.  Schools can then use the Web Wise documentation or the other safety stuff the NCTE pumped out to make sure that children are safe while browsing.  I don’t think we need to be “minded” anymore.

To see Teachers’ TV as it stands, click here.

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