When I think back to 2003 and the dangers of searching Bill Clinton on the internet I still break out in a cold sweat. I do not support free access to the internet within schools. A combination of web filtering using such agencies as watchdog and self managing which sites are unblocked has provided an opportunity for schools to teach students digital citizenship within a safe environment and creates many rich learning opportunities. Up until 2009 I was confident that our internet security at school protected students and staff from objectionable material including reducing the number of emails of questionable origins.
However the network landscape has changed over the last 12 months. A significant number of students have their own mobile phones and now also have internet via the mobile network. The telecom stick, vodafone's mobile modems and 3G enabled computers and iDevices are giving students affordable access anytime, anywhere. All our security at the network gateway to the school offers no protection to these students and their peers that share their devices.
With this development the focus on digital citizenship gains more importance for the students and teachers of today.