Tag-Archive for ◊ filtering ◊

Flexible Filtering in School
Monday, November 28th, 2011 | Author:

Recently Hampshire have released Flexible Filtering for schools meaning that it is now up to the schools to allow or block certain websites. This is a massive step forward and we have been enjoying this for a few weeks now. Now, despite many Hampshire teachers thinking to the contrary, I think Hampshire have actually been fairly lenient with blocking websites. When I talk to people on Twitter there are many websites that are blocked across the country but have always been turned on for us. This new service means that the last few sites that we want to use are now there for us to switch on.

So which sites have I enabled? Twitter, Vimeo and err…that’s about it really!

It is worth noting that Google Images and YouTube were turned on because we have signed up to the filtering service.

Having Google Images, Flickr and YouTube have been fantastic for our children and staff and so far we have had no issues of children finding, or looking for, inappropriate content. I know not every school will have the same experience, but I feel we talk to our children in an open and honest way and they know I could block it again if I wanted or needed to so they don’t bother looking for this content.

Does your LA or school have the ability to allow/block content yet? I think this should be in place for every school but I also know we are very lucky to have it here in Hampshire!

Here’s how it looks.

 Here is the category list. If you want to block auctions, just drag that category from one side to the other. The red ones can’t be allowed.

 

 Here’s a list of websites we have turned on. Small isn’t it?

 

 Simply type in the address that you want to allow. I tend to make them wildcards so *.twitter.com will allow anything.twitter.com just in case www.twitter.com doesn’t work.

Internet Filtering
Wednesday, July 06th, 2011 | Author:

This weekend here in Hampshire, all of our schools (I think) transferred from the old internet providers, BT to Virgin Media. It was interesting as Monday and Tuesday caused all kinds of filtering issues with Youtube being allowed and Twitter not etc. Interestingly Google+ was also blocked a mere 3/4 days after people got on it! It’s been a dodgy few days but it all looks very promising.

Now prior to this weekend there were 2 1/2 choices for Hampshire schools. They could be on the primary filter, the secondary filter or the 1/2 option is if you knew a bloke who knew someone who could tell you the other filter. We used this one. It gave teachers Youtube, Twitter, Flickr and Facebook but not Google Images. We mainly used it for Youtube and Twitter. Now this back-door way has been closed and we have the choice between primary and secondary.

You might think it is an obvious choice as we are a primary school but we want our children to be able to access things like Google images (now available!) and potentially YouTube too. So we made the change. And the change was good.

Today I taught children for the first-ever time using Google Images. We were making maps to show where food came from e.g. rice, cocoa, coffee and they were able to find images online and link it to their maps. It was great! The only (very minor) issue was when one girl searched for coco instead of cocoa and got some women in bikinis. We’d already discussed what to do if children say inappropriate pictures so she did the right thing. She told me, we searched for something else. Simples.

How long will this be turned on? Who knows. I know there will be schools that complain about Images being available and the fact their children can’t be trusted. These schools will always be the ones with problems. I am a firm believer that it is all about education. My children will go home to a (probably) unfiltered internet connection and will see dodgy things now and again on YouTube and the like, shouldn’t I be teaching them about how to use these sites properly, effectively and safely?

Luckily, from the Autumn term we will have complete control over the websites we allow and block for all children and staff, this is currently a stopgap, but it will be interesting to see how long it takes for Google Images and YouTube to be turned back off.

What does your school do? Do you get Images? YouTube? Would you want them? Or would your school prefer them to stay blocked because it’s safer?

**Edit: I have just had word that Google Images is being switched off tomorrow, 3 days after being turned on, because some schools want it banned. Ridiculous isn’t it? They should be ashamed of themselves. I would happily meet with every one of those schools and tell them they are wrong.