No, because whatever hits you get back have already happened, you are reacting to what has happened. With active filtering the 'problem' is stopped before it occurs, i.e. is (pro)active.
But some of what Securus does is also pro-active - it can block websites, for example.
Ofsted have recently reported that pupils are safer using a less restricted internet and learning how to manage risk.
Students safest using the internet when they are trusted to manage their own risk / News / Ofsted home / Ofsted - Ofsted
Obviously there is stuff that need to be banned from schools but from my experience a lot of stuff is blocked because it more entertaining than lessons. This then using a sledgehammer to crack a nut these students that are off task need to see there are consequences for the choices they make and so if they access facebook for example when they should be working actions are taken like they would be in a work place.
I often use the analogy of a swimming pool for the use of the internet. Water is dangerous so there are rules ie no running. When you first start you are in the protected shallow end with arm bands but ultimately you are taught to swim. There are life guards on hand ie: CEOPS or school staff.
Schools need to stop just dipping there toe in the water and teach the students the skill they need to use the internet responsibly.
Either way, someone has to monitor it - if it's you or your student support officer, it takes somebody's time.
I've seen both sides of the fence and work for two schools that have opposing filtering views. Both schools are ten minutes away from each other and are on the LGfL/Synetrix filtering system.
School A blocks everything - youtube, social networking (facebook, twitter, other chat), porn, and hacking. Basically everything on a category that the network manager* thinks is inappropriate. No Securus system in place. No reporting, no logs. Just blocks.
School B blocks only porn, hacking and (recently) facebook. Twitter is okay, games are fine, web chat is permitted, but Securus is in place and actively alerts direct to SLT when a student breaches the enforced AUP which says no games during lesson time, three strikes and you're out, etc etc.
The difference is in School A the network manager decided what to block and what not to block, and the SLT have thought that there is no changing it. Teachers complain that schemes of work are difficult because youtube et al is locked up, but the SLT have not thought to tackle the issue and change it.
School B, the kids use their iPhones (and others) on the school wireless (dirty network), use social networking (except Facebook, which was deemed disruptive to lessons/learning spaces) to research trends and exchange ideas, and work with the local CLC on an iPhone project and were featured on BBC News with world-reaching publicity and offers of knowledge exchange, feee iPhone apps, and so on. In fact you may know who that school is as they've been in the press for the project.
I think that any school could change to an open model, providing
- it's monitored
- any breaches of AUP are reacted upon
- the students (AND staff) know that monitoring is in place
- users have the opportunity to explain/apologise for a possible breach
I'd recommend any school to try it. But as it is usually an about-face on filtering/monitoring, it must be done by explaining to the kids the benefits, the reasons why, about safe use, and the consequences of over-stepping the mark (and then actually following up on them!).
1) Network security and control issues such as proxy bypass and hacking are the role of the Network Professionals who need to know who's breaching or attempting to breach audit or security policies. The information can then be used to adjust policies and improve the network.
2) Pastoral care issues are the responsibility of the SMT who should 'elect' nominated individuals who know the students to receive the automated email alerts and scheduled reports upon which they should act. This includes regularly logging in to ensure they are reviewing captures and taking appropriate safety and disciplinary measures as necessary.
Largely and with regret, we know that in 'most' schools the job is foisted on the Network Team who are expected to trawl through the captures and present the staff with the most serious issues. It is often a battle to get the SMT engaged in the actual monitoring but with the latest report from Ofsted (Feb 2010) and their new e-safety inspections (from Sept 2009), schools are taking a more pragmatic and realistic view of their responsibilites. The drum banging is far from over but at least there's some progress!
Happy Easter all :)