“Education, not mandatory blocking and filtering, is the best way to protect and prepare America’s students.”
Joint Statement of ISTE and CoSN Hailing Passage of Internet Safety Education Legislation
Recently, there have been some changes to the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). In talking about CIPA with some local educators, I was surprised to find that many were not familiar with what CIPA calls for. So I thought I would take a couple of minutes to revisit how it might be affecting you and your district.
CIPA imposes a few requirements on any school or library that receives funding for Internet access or internal connections from the E-rate program. The purpose of the E-rate program is to make communications technology more affordable for eligible schools and libraries. Through E-rate, these schools get discounts on telecommunication services, Internet access, and internal connections.
Schools and libraries subject to CIPA:
- Must certify that they have an Internet safety policy including protection (to block or filter) pictures that are obscene, pornographic or harmful to minors.
- Are required to educate minors about appropriate online safety including cyberbullying and interacting with others on social networking sites and in chat rooms
- Are required to adopt and enforce a policy to monitor online activities of minors
- Are required to adopt and address a policy implementing
- access by minors to inappropriate content on the Internet
- the safety and security of minors while using e-mail, chat rooms or any form of electronic communication
- unlawful activities (hacking)
- use of personal information regarding minors
- restricting access of materials deemed harmful to minors
Recently, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) urged Congress to update CIPA to include requirements regarding appropriate behavior on social networking and chat room sites.
In a joint statement from ISTE’s and CoSN, they said “the Internet contains valuable content, collaboration and communication opportunities that can and do materially contribute to a student’s academic growth and preparation for the workforce”.
Are you educating your students on how to keep themselves safe while online? Are you taking advantage of the valuable content the Internet has to offer? Are you using the collaboration and communication opportunities to aide in your student’s academic growth and prepare them for the workforce?
Or are you (or possibly your technology department) just filtering out what has the wrong label, tag, keyword, or look to it.