Thursday, June 12, 2008

New CEN Content Filtering

As you are probably aware, the CEN is in the process of deploying a new content filtering system, 8e6. CEN staff members have held informational meetings over the past several weeks to help district technology personnel learn about using this new system.

With the new system, districts will have a variety of options for determining what content will be filtered in their schools. However, a minimum “default” level of filtering will be applied to all public school districts on the CEN that cannot be modified at the local level. 8e6 comes preset with a “recommended” minimum that is centered on CIPA requirements. As districts are rolled over to the new system throughout the summer, they will be subject to this preset recommended minimum filtering level.

Although the minimum filtering level cannot be changed locally, it can be modified on the network level. The Commission for Educational Technology (CET) has the responsibility for determining this minimum default level of filtering. At the June CET meeting, the issue of setting the minimum default level was discussed. It was decided that more information was needed before an informed determination could be made on what categories of content should and should not be filtered. The CET voted to wait until the system has been in place in all districts for a few months, and to note which (if any) filtered categories are problematic for districts. Based on input from districts (through the CEN wiki, CEN helpdesk, CAPSS, CECA, and other K-12 groups), a decision will be made at the November CET meeting whether or not to change the statewide minimum level default filtering levels.

Questions or comments related to the new system can be directed to the CEN wiki or to Karen Kaplan.