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Have been thinking this through as I prepare to give a workshop on Web 2.0
next week.

My district does not allow myspace or facebook. They do allow NING if you
set up a specific one.

My thoughts;

We should not be teaching kids that it is OK to bypass filters. Bypassing
filters, hacking for myspace also allows bypassing systems for lots of other
things. Do you want to open that can of worms?

We should NOT allow any and all social networking sites. Yes, students will
use them now and in the future. Yes, we should do some teaching using these
tools. But the tools we SELECT should be ones that we can monitor and adjust
to our needs. I am working hard for my district to loosen up, allow someone
at school to allow filter unblocking but I do not advocate nor do I use a
proxy filter blocker.

This is an analogy I have been thinking over. It probably has a hole or two
in it, but I think it does address this issue somewhat. Our students will
probably all drive cars one day. We need to teach them traffic safety both
as drivers and as pedestrians. But we don't put them in cars unless they are
in Drivers Ed classes. Even when they are in driving situations we don't
just say "go for it".

Deborah Stafford
Gen. H.H. Arnold High School
Wiesbaden, Germany

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