SP government blocks use of Instagram, TikTok, Netflix and more apps in state schools

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SP government blocks use of Instagram, TikTok, Netflix and more apps in state schools
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The State Government of São Paulo blocked the use of social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and streaming services such as Netflix in state schools. The measure began on February 13 with about 5,500 schools receiving notice of the ban.

According to the Department of Education of the government of Tarcísio de Freitas, the measure aims to avoid inappropriate content in schools:

The objective of the measure is to focus on the development of quality learning, without dispersion to content considered inappropriate.

The suspension of access to these platforms applies to access via WiFi or connected internet in all state schools in SP. Despite this, the statement states that the use of content found in them continues to be allowed for teaching:

Blocking access to certain applications and platforms does not preclude the use of their content for pedagogical purposes in the classroom, as provided for in the disciplines that are part of the São Paulo curriculum. Therefore, there is no restriction for analyses, re-readings, discussions and reflections on social networks and topics covered in them.

The access block applies to both students and teachers of state schools in the state of São Paulo.

Renato Feder, Minister of Education of SP. Image: reproduction

Despite everything, the measure has already generated controversy, as education specialist and deputy Carlos Giannazzi says that banning the use of social networks in schools can harm learning.

In his statement he says:

This prohibitive measure represents a real setback and a great harm to students’ learning, as many contents studied in the classroom are illustrated with images, videos, texts, reports, comments, etc., which are on social networks.

Aiming to discuss the matter, Giannazzi made a request to the Commission for Education and Culture of the Legislative Assembly of São Paulo (Alesp) and contacted the Public Ministry so that the secretary of education of SP, Renato Feder, explained the reason that led him to block these platforms in schools.

Giannazzi’s argument is that this type of blocking “opens the door to censorship and gags in schools” and is an “authoritarian and exclusionary decision that has no pedagogical foundation”.

On the other hand, the Secretary of Education of the State of São Paulo (Seduc-SP) states that it supports the use of technologies and applications for pedagogical practices such as the Media Center and the SP Class Diary, in addition to partnerships with Google Microsoft, which make available tools and software tailored to the needs of students.

In January, the government of SP determined that students from the state education network should present proof of vaccination to encourage the immunization of children aged between 5 and 17 years.

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