If you are like me, a good chunk of the Spam that goes through your Spam box says something about a faster Internet service. And the other half is a long lost relative from Kenya trying to get you to launder money into the United States for him. How many long lost relatives can I have in Kenya, anyway?
I tend to ignore anything in the Spam box, even if it really can offer me a better web service. But when the New York Times decides to profile a site that really does off a better browsing service, I took notice. OpenDNS offers a free service that protects you from phishing sites, gives you a faster browsing experience, create shortcuts in your navigation bar, and corrects your typos before you get the annoying “can’t find that site” page.
The plus for educators (other than it is free) is that OpenDNS also offers free adult site filters. On top of that, they let you block any other sites you feel need blocking. When I was a Junior High teacher, I remember that every kid would go to this car customization page whenever I turned my back. There was nothing adult on the site, but the Java program that the site used to help future hoodlums create their pimp-mobile would slow the network down like crazy.
OpenDNS can be added to any browser in the settings area, or can be added at the network admin level. I haven’t tried it out yet, because I probably shouldn’t mess with those settings at work :)
Matt is currently the Learning Innovation Coordinator with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His research focuses on Learning Theory, Innovation, and learner empowerment. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.