Another issue related to Internet use – particularly in schools – is the restricted nature of Internet access. We have seen why this would be considered necessary, but it also stifles the ability of both teachers and students to access the resources they need. What are you able to access at your school or institution – or not? Does this work? What does this mean for an educational institution where many students have internet capable smart phones? Does this mean restrictions should be relaxed and better supervision should be utilise
We are able to access most websites that I would need as a teacher. However, social media sites are blocked including Twitter and FaceBook. While I don't mind FaceBook being blocked, I use Twitter quite a bit for educational purposes. I often am reading articles or sharing my own work with other educators. However, there is a way around it - mobile devices. If I have my iPhone on me and I don't connect to the school wifi, I can still access Twitter and use it on campus. This is not ideal because I would rather be able to read things from my laptop more easily with larger font but it is a work around.
This mimics what are students are doing too. With the rise of mobile devices and unlimited data, students don't need the school network to connect to the internet. Does this mean we should abandon it? I don't think so. For our younger students especially, it is important that we have firewalls, security and safety measures in place until they understand the internet better and have more knowledge about being a digital citizenship. We don't allow cell phones in the classroom, so students shouldn't be viewing things from their mobile devices during the school day (specifically at the primary school). However, as students become older they are going to make their own choices and have more non-class time in their day that they can access social media sites from their mobile devices. The important thing is that we as educators have done our do diligence to educate students so they are prepared to make appropriate choices and act in a mature manner online.