I gather from the correspondence and phone calls I've received since my initial posting on school Internet policies, that this is a complex problem area shared by public schools across Australia and around the world.
The major sticking point seems to be what has been broadly termed as "Public Policy" and relates to politicians concern about the consequences of being blamed for students accessing offensive/inappropriate material or having inappropriate communication outside the school system. In particular the media find these kinds of incidents very news worthy and this encourages the public policy to one of risk aversion by pro-actively blocking access to Web 2.0 technologies served outside the school system and to blocking a large proportion of websites regardless of their content.
While I understand the complex issues, public school leadership needs to address these as a priority, otherwise we will continue to see the gap widen between what is possible in the non-government schools and the paralysis of fear in the public school sector.
If you have any doubts about the future of schooling, you need to look at what is occurring around the world and seriously consider the predictions currently being made. The following article is just one of many that makes substantial predictions:
eschool news-- Six technologies soon to affect education.