I believe pretty strongly that we should be removing restrictions on students’ access to the Internet in school as they get older. They’re going to live in an unfiltered world. I think they deserve the opportunity to learn how to navigate that complex information space under some adult guidance before we turn them loose after graduation. They don’t learn how to do that if we don’t give them access.
I had some pushback on that idea yesterday during a phone conversation with a school technology coordinator in another state. He basically said that he wasn’t buying my information libertarianism because most employers do some kind of content filtering for their adult employees. He was comfortable with his district’s current options for teachers to quickly request that particular web sites be unblocked.
What do you think? Do you agree with my stance that schools should be opening up the Internet to kids as they reach the upper grades? Or do you concur with the technology coordinator that schools don’t need to provide any more of an unfiltered environment than employers do?