Lynn Sutton’s study on school Internet filtering reported by eSchoolnews in October 2005 focused mainly on the problems encountered by students doing Internet research when filtering solutions were in place at school. The report states that over 90% of US schools reported using some type of Internet filtering to comply with CIPA. I am actually surprised the percentage is that low, I would expect it would be 100%.

An equally or even more important issue, however, is the need to help students develop their abilities and motivation to make responsible and ethical decisions regarding Internet access when a filter is NOT in use: like in most homes. What are educators doing to help students develop this skill set? In most cases, I’m afraid the answer is NOT MUCH. Not many schools are offering educational learning opportunities for parents, teachers, as well as students related to digital citizenship.

A quick visit to myspace.com will show you how important this is. The articles about MySpace and Xanga continue to make headlines in many mainstream press sources. So what are we doing about it? Strengthening school Internet filters? Encouraging parents to ban home Internet use? Or just ignoring the problem?

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