District leaders make changes to offer greater online access to students.
Attempting to use online social-networking tools, read blogs, or see multimedia presentations on a classroom computer can generate a message that’s become all too familiar in many American schools: Access Denied.
So what teachers and students in Trussville, Ala., are doing on the Internet might be considered illicit activity in other districts across the country. Lessons in the 4,100-student district near Birmingham include YouTube videos and film trailers, Internet chats with peers in Nigeria or award-winning children’s authors, even blogging sessions and Web research on open search engines such as Google.
Faced with concerns about Internet predators, cyberbullying, students’ sharing of inappropriate content on social networks, and the abundance of sexually explicit or violent content online, many school leaders and technology directors are placing tighter restrictions on Web access to shield...
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