Their licensing may have changed, I have not read the fine print lately.   OpenDNS just blocks categories and a limited number of custom domains.    It works by changing your outward DNS.    So if in windows you would change the DNS forwarded address to openDNS's IP instead of Comcasts.   Filtering is done off site at the domain name level.

I had them quote the enterprise recently and they told me $1500 per building which for MSJ is too much, but for a larger school it might be a nice solution.    The enterprise version will integrate with AD and allow for override.

Bjorn Behrendt

On Aug 1, 2012 10:35 AM, "Bill Clark" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I am interested in the “cost nothing to implement” …we currently filter using an annual subscription through SonicWall..this expires March of next year…


Should we contact Open DNS directly ? Does this require an agent ?


Bill Clark

Austine School

From: School Information Technology Discussion [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bjorn Behrendt
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 3:27 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: On Filtering


I use OpenDNS to block the minimum amount.   There are two reasons that filtering must be in place in schools.  First, is for accidental or purposeful misuse (like porn) and second is bandwidth constraints, which I have Youtube open, but have had to remind the school every few months not to use it for background music or I will block it.  These two reasons fulfill e-rate requirements and cost nothing to implement.    


There is a third reason and that is unmanageable distraction.   This is where things get hazy between responsible internet use and classroom management.    Facebook is a classic example of this.  If classroom innovation and fair use adoption (not just teaching but actual adoption on the students part) can keep up then sites like facebook is a great thing.   But too often the innovation is much slower than misuse which makes the app unmanageable to a classroom teacher.   This is what happened at MSJ when I opened up Facebook.    For these types of tools we need to find a middle ground that can carry over.   Like teaching social networking skills in a LMS and explain to students how their communication online carries over to their facebook type accounts.


Bjorn Behrendt M.Ed ~ Never Stop Learning

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On Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 7:04 AM, Heather Chirtea <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

On Filtering....
I wish I had a dime for every time a kid walked out of a school that had a filter, went down the street to an open network, and got into trouble. We don't advocate for filters except for very young kids. You need to teach responsible internet usage and let the kids make mistakes in the safe environment of the school.  It's the school's responsibility to craft a culture of safe internet practice.  Keep away, keep safe, keep telling.

This extends to the home. If you are sending computers home, you are taking on a responsibility to educate the parents too.  The parents will appreciate it.  Most don't know that they should only allow computer usage in common areas in the home (i.e. kids with computers behind closed doors are where most problems begin!)

Avoiding the problem by implementing complex filters (which don't work by the way - kids always circumvent them) puts the responsibility on the IT department, rather in the hands of the teachers, parents, and the kids - where it belongs.  The world we live in has open networks and kids know where they are :)

All the best,
Heather Chirtea

Digital Wish, Executive Director
PO Box 1072, Manchester Center, VT 05255
P: 802-549-4571, F: 845-402-7242, C: 802-379-3000

...29,061 Classroom technology wishes granted!

On 7/31/2012 12:02 AM, SCHOOL-IT automatic digest system wrote: