RTE is the Irish national broadcaster and Morning Ireland is RTE’s flagship news program.
Morning Ireland reported this morning that social networking sites MySpace and Bebo will be blocked from all Irish schools from September this year. The reason given for blocking the sites is that they are too time consuming. So far I can’t find any link to confirm this story.
Social networking through sites like MySpace or through blogs are how people and businesses will network in the future. Social networking is becoming an increasingly important skill to learn.
Blocking these sites is actually harming childrens chances of learning valuable skills in later life.
At the moment there are two levels of filtering – Option B: a restrictive level which permits only educational websites as well as sites on a pre-determined ‘white list’; and Option A: a less restrictive system which allows only educational and related websites.
For years we have been trying to get schools to get Internet access and now that they have it, it is being blocked at the filters unless it is deemed educational. How assinine.
UPDATE: – many of the comments to this post have been focussing on the social networks being blocked by schools and while I think that is an important story, I think it is far more important that from September all schools will have a content filtering system in place which will block ALL sites unless they are specifically deemed to be educational.
UPDATE 2: – You can listen to this report on this morning’s Morning Ireland at 1:26:48, it comes from a story in today’s Irish Independent by education correspondent John Walsh.