This paper investigates the impact of filtering software in K-12 schools and school libraries. The Children's Internet Protection Act, or CIPA, requires that public schools and school libraries use filtering technology in order to receive discounted rates on technology. As a result, nearly all public elementary and secondary schools today use filtering technology. While the provisions of CIPA narrowly define the content to be blocked, filters are often set to block much more than is required. Filtering technology is often ineffective, and many unobjectionable sites end up being blocked, including Web 2.0 sites and tools needed to educate students in a 21st century learning environment. Filtering software raises other issues as well, such as First Amendment implications, a possible "digital divide" between students that have unfiltered access to online content at home and those that do not, and the loss of opportunity to educate students on how to be good digital citizens. These issues should be acknowledged and addressed. There are many options available to librarians, educators, administrators, and other stakeholders that can increase students' access to online information and educational tools while still protecting children from inappropriate online content and complying with the requirements of CIPA.
Overaa, J. M. (2014). Website Blocked: Filtering Technology in Schools and School Libraries. School of Information Student Research Journal, 4(2). https://doi.org/10.31979/2575-2499.040204
Communication Technology and New Media Commons, Curriculum and Instruction Commons, Education Law Commons, Education Policy Commons, Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration Commons, Elementary Education and Teaching Commons, First Amendment Commons, Information Literacy Commons, Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching Commons, Scholarly Publishing Commons