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Thanks to everyone who participated.  Here are the HITS I received:

-It is blocked here, period.  I push teachertube.

-This issue just blew up in our district.  The following is a letter from our 
Superintendent of how it all played out and his decision.  Hope this helps you.
On December 14, a high school teacher sent an email questioning the ability to 
access the website “YouTube” from district computers.  His specific, and 
appropriate, question, was: “Does this site have educational relevance which would 
supersede the questionable content, and should we block its access?”.  An 
administrator directed IT to block access (which was done on Dec. 14), 
precipitating a number of thoughtful responses from teachers who use YouTube as a 
resource for video and audio clips for their classes and from those who believe 
that it is a distraction for students who should be using computer resources for 
completing assignments.

-I convened a meeting with x, x, x and x to discuss this issue and to decide 
whether to leave YouTube blocked or to make it available once again.  After a 
lengthy discussion, I’ve decided to unblock the YouTube site.  Effective January 2, 
the site will again be available from inside the KPS domain.

-There are a number of reasons that were discussed at our meeting that led to this 
decision, some specific to YouTube and some more generally about the digital world 
we live in in the 21st century.  My general feeling on blocking these types of 
sites is that it is a fool’s errand – many students can quickly get around fire 
walls using a variety of proxy server or Web 2.0 applications, and as soon as you 
block one site they find another.  Or, as X put it, “if students are on 
‘inappropriate sites’ and off task, there are plenty other sites that we'll be 
chasing till the cows come home.”

-To be clear: I am not arguing for no firewalls or filtering software.  But there 
is a technology literacy component to everything we do these days – we want to 
teach kids to use the computer responsibly and safely, be good digital citizens, 
make good judgments about the accuracy of the material they find on the web, and 
understand the limitations of multitasking.  Two resources for teachers to help 
with this are Alan November’s ( <> )  and David 
Warlick's’ work ( <> ).  Finally, there 
is also the issue of classroom management in a digital environment, and the tools 
and skills a teacher must exercise when using technology with students.  This is a 
topic Kathi would be happy to address with you as we continue to expand the 
integration of technology into the day-to-day life of classrooms.
I would encourage further dialog on this issue, so please feel free to respond and 
add your two cents or ask questions.

-Our division blocked YouTube much to the chagrin of the teachers who wanted to 
access it. Now only teachers have access…a good compromise.

-Youtube is blocked at our school.  There's another video site, I think it's that we also blocked. 

-It's blocked here.

-YouTube content is of concern but teaching kids responsible use is part
of our job so access to it is important. Our issue is with the bandwidth
used to access it. Unlimited access is capable of hamstringing our local
network. Sorry if this is not exactly on your topic.

-It isn't already blocked??? Some of it is really nasty!

-Youtube is blocked in my district.  Content is a big issue, as is
bandwidth.  I have a password override, so if a student wants to show a
clip as part of his presentation I can go to the class and override the
filter for him for that one instance.

-I don't think that it should be blocked for teachers because sometimes there are 
teachable moments on youtube.  I don't think that students should be allowed to 
watch it unsupervised.  People will probably tell you that it is a supervision 
thing or  to invest in monitoring software that records what websites the students 
go to.
Hope that helps a little :-)

-Our filter, Lightspeed, blocks it under the Adult content category.

-We don't have access to YouTube at all.

-It's blocked at our school.  600 Jr. High students. 7th and 8th. Also at the high 
school (1,000 students, grades 9-12).

-Yes.  Our district has blocked it; but the students now try to use proxy
servers to access it.

Howard Strey
100 Lincoln Drive
St. Peter, MN. 56082
507-934-4210 ext 411

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