Trussville, Alabama, USA
“Internet Access with Minimal Filtering”
Shawn has been involved with IT for over 16 years. Most of his expericnce comes from emerging software development companies. For almost two years now Shawn has been the Director of Technology for Trussville City Schools. He enjoys applying current technology in his schools. Shawn believes that Web 2.0 tools are essential in todays classroom.
Parental and district concerns for internet safety is something that his school system invests a lot of time in. Internet filtering is an obvious key to this. Their basic level of internet safety was to install a filtering piece that maintains state and federal standards for K-12 internet safety. Their current product is very limiting. It blocks a lot of sites they would like to have open for teachers. They encourage and push teachers to use the 21st Century and Web 2.0 tools. This year they are changing products to allow them to be more customer service oriented. Teachers will have more freedom than ever with internet use in the classroom. A huge concern of their technical department is this freedom. Open internet access in the hands of a non-tech savvy teacher could do catastrophic political damage within their community. They invest a lot of time on professional development for their faculty and staff. They also spend a lot of time with the Board of Education and City Council. In addition they have open forums with parents and bombard parents with information about their technology use within the classroom. After conversations with them, they walk away understanding the need for Web 2.0 in the classroom. They also have an open communication with teachers. Blocking or unblocking sites should only take a few hours, but no more than 24.