MNPS Lifts Ban On Certain Social Media Sites In The Classroom

MNPS Lifts Ban On Certain Social Media Sites In The Classroom

CREATED Mar 10, 2014 - UPDATED: Mar 11, 2014

By Chris Cannon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Administrators with Metro Nashville Public Schools will lift the ban on several social media web sites in the classroom.

The district will soon allow high school students to access Twitter and You Tube as part of their curriculum.

"We're giving more access to our students, and our teachers, for a 21st century classroom," said Jay Steele, the chief academic officer for MNPS.

Until now, the district's wireless internet service blocked social media sites on any computer that used the system in its schools.

Access to the social media sites will start in the Spring.

"We're turning it into a global classroom. Kids are having access, and connecting with scientists and researchers around the world," Steele said.

Some teachers currently use those sites after getting permission to bypass the WiFi filter. Adam Taylor is a teacher of Overton High School who uses social media in his classroom.

"You Tube, unlimited videos. And Twitter, connecting with scientists, or other students. It's just, in my opinion, it's priceless," Taylor explained.

He said sites like Twitter not only puts the world at his students' fingertips, it also allows shy students to move up to the front of the class.

"Kids who are quiet can share their ideas, as well. So it helps me get to know them better, plus they have ideas to share," according to Taylor.

At the start, access will only be granted for Twitter and You Tube. Sites such as Facebook and Instagram will still be blocked by filters.

The access will start with high school students. Middle and elementary school students will eventually get the same access.

The district will still have the ability to filter inappropriate material found on those social media web sites.

If parents do not want their children to have access to social media, they can have the sites blocked for that student.

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