by Greg Toppo
July 25, 2011
Book banning has long been a controversial issue in the nation's schools. Now some educators say banned websites pose as great a threat to kids' education and intellectual freedom.
Filtering software and school rules designed to keep out violence and pornography are also blocking key educational and otherwise useful sites, teachers say, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube — not to mention Google and National Geographic.
The Pinellas County (Fla.) School Board in June voted unanimously to block teachers from communicating with students via Facebook or Twitter, even about school-related matters. The school board said it hopes to prevent the appearance of inappropriate contact between students and teachers via social media.
This fall, a handful of schools and libraries across the USA plan to celebrate Banned Sites Day to draw attention to the issue, according to New Canaan (Conn.) High School librarian Michelle Luhtala. The day was her idea. She says the same issues of censorship, fear and free speech that make banned books resonate also apply to social-networking sites that most public schools block.
"Teaching with social media shows students how to responsibly use those platforms," Luhtala says. "Blocking access in schools denies kids the chance to practice sharing their knowledge with the real world in a supervised setting."
Many schools use "brute force" tools that block good educational sites, says Karen Cator, the U.S. Department of Education's director of educational technology. Cator says she has urged schools to use more sophisticated, updated software and to educate themselves on the actual filtering rules, which are less restrictive than many educators believe.
"The Internet is not going away," she says.
Along with social networking, many schools block teachers' personal e-mail and seemingly harmless sites. In a survey for the education website MindShift, Editor Tina Barseghian found that teachers at some schools couldn't access National Geographic or Flickr, as well as the video- conferencing site Skype.
Learn more about Search Engine Optimization, the most effective form of online advertising.
Search Engine Marketing is the fastest growing advertising medium in the world, projected to become 10x more powerful and influential than traditional media outlets such as: network television, cable television, local television, network radio, local radio, satellite radio, national newspapers, local newspapers, magazines, billboards, direct mail, telemarketing and more.
Discover the most powerful and effective form of advertising, Search Engine Optimization.
An aside for consideration are the segments of Search Engine Optimization. Clarification is required in terms of paid search marketing, sponsored search advertising, pay per click, email marketing (spam), and the foundation of strategic internet marketing: Organic Search Engine Optimization - Organic SEO in some circles also referred to as Natural Search Engine Optimization - Natural SEO.
Key Organic Search Engine Optimization Facts:
- Keyword search is the 2nd most popular online activity, rapidly approaching the popularity of email retrieval.
- 90% of all new website visitors are delivered by a major search engine and/or directory.
- 98% of all keyword search activity results are powered by the big 4 search engines: Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL.
- Keyword search results on Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL are all determined by a search engine spider and/or robot crawler.
- Recent internet marketing studies confirm that keyword searchers prefer the organic results at a 6 to 1 ratio vs. pay-per-click sponsored search advertising listings.
Is your corporate website being found early and often on the keywords and keyword phrases that best describe your products, services and industry?
Harness the power that our proven organic search engine optimization technologies can provide...
Contact the Peak Positions Organic SEO consulting specialists today.
Learn more about our client roster, one of the strongest in the SEO industry, and more importantly discover why our client-focused Organic Search Engine Optimization company maintains the highest client retention rate in the SEO industry.
"Our year over year order anniversary flowers revenues are climbing rapidly in a timid economy. If you are looking for an excellent SEO Company, we suggest Peak Positions" ...
SEO Case Study