Infrastructure

A Wider View

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — October 14, 2009 1 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE

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 students from potential harm.

Yet in Trussville and other like-minded school systems, educators and school boards are instead expanding access to online resources, including social-networking sites, for students and teachers. Instead of blocking the many exit ramps and side routes on the information superhighway, they have decided that educating students and teachers on how to navigate the Internet’s vast resources responsibly, safely, and productively—and setting clear rules and expectations for doing so—is the best way to head off online collisions.

“We are known in our district for technology, so I don’t see how you can teach kids 21st-century values if you’re not teaching them digital citizenship and appropriate ways of sharing and using everything that’s available on the Web,” says Shawn Nutting, the technology director for the Trussville district. “How can you, in 2009, not use the Internet for everything?”

A version of this article appeared in the October 21, 2009 edition of Digital Directions as A Wider View

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Infrastructure Whitepaper
2021 Best Practices Guide: Education Broadband
In this guide, we provide actionable steps, timelines, and tips to help you launch and sustain a successful student WiFi program.
Content provided by Kajeet
Infrastructure 'Big Burden' for Schools Trying to Give Kids Internet Access
A year into the pandemic, millions of students remain without internet because of financial hurdles and logistical difficulties.
5 min read
Veronica Esquivel, 10, finishes her homework after her virtual school hours while her brother Isias Esquivel sits in front of the computer, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, at their residence in Chicago's predominantly Hispanic Pilsen neighborhood.
Veronica Esquivel, 10, finishes her homework after her virtual school hours while her brother Isias Esquivel sits in front of the computer, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, at their residence in Chicago's predominantly Hispanic Pilsen neighborhood.
Shafkat Anowar/AP
Infrastructure Q&A How to Expand Home Internet Connectivity for K-12 Students Over the Long Haul
One Florida district is mapping its region and prioritizing communities with the greatest economic needs for home internet access.
6 min read
This "heat map" generated by GIS technology uses progressively darker colors to illustrate the areas of Palm Beach County with the highest concentrations of families who lack home internet access.
This "heat map" generated by GIS technology uses progressively darker colors to illustrate the areas of Palm Beach County with the highest concentrations of families who lack home internet access.
Courtesy of Donna Goldstein
Infrastructure The Big Pandemic Tech Challenge: Reliable, High-Quality Internet Experiences for All
Simply providing a student with a device and internet connection at home isn’t enough to ensure high-quality online learning.
12 min read
A team of people build a path across the digital divide.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty