I don't have a true "success story" to share about unblocking sites. I've been able to "work around" blocking in the district in a rather unique way. I have a very good relationship with our district technology director. I often volunteer to do a "Pilot Program." Each of these volunteer efforts has required me to do something that typically is "blocked" by district policy. Each time I volunteer, I've been given permission to do the project. I am required to submit data about how the project goes and details on how this is positive or negative for student learning. I, however, am disappointed that as of today none of the district policies have been changed as a result of my pilot projects. I, therefore volunteered to help craft a new policy for the district. (If you can't beat them - join them! ) Our draft policy is now at the District Office ... I've not heard when it comes up on any agenda .
I'm interested in what blocking programs are used in districts where teachers are able to modify the blocked sites on their own - or get changes done in less than "forever!" I would enjoy sharing this information with our district people.
What a GREAT idea Glen has about asking to "pilot" sites which have been blocked! That way the IT folks can see if there is any harmful outcome of unblocking the site. Of course, as teachers we are more interested in the positive learning outcomes!
He also asks about filtering software which allows teachers to unblock sites on their own- I don't know about this and also hope someone else will chime in...
I also don't know the technical aspects of how our IT department allows teacher logins to access almost everything, but the student login is quite secure. It surely is nice, though!