Tuesday, September 12, 2006

DOPA reaches US News and World Report

In a myspace article in US News and World Report, the "main-stream" media is finally seeing the impact of the DOPA legislation on education. I particularly like the articles experts talking about the positive nature of social networking and allowing students to interact.
"We want them to be able to make these judgments when they get outside,"says Gustavson. The Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006, which passed the House of Representatives in July, would make blocking of these sites at public schools and libraries mandatory. Although the law's intention is to protect minors from sexual solicitations or suggestive material, many experts believe it is written too broadly and will obstruct many useful sites. And they also argue that banning the sites from the very locations where there are adults present to monitor kids' online activities is a mistake. "If we lock these sites out of the schools, adults are turning their backs on kids and making them deal with these issues on their own," says Henry Jenkins, codirector of the comparative media studies program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
I too have been wondering when as educator we will have our hands loosed and be allowed to teach students to use these tools safely, effectively to learn. After all, as it states in US New "kids" are using social networking sites. They will continue, despite all parental and governmental attempts to stop it.

Just the other day we had an incident at our school of inappropriate web use, and the feeling was if it was reported to the district one more potentially valuable website (it was a search engine) would be blocked (as so much of it is already).

Way to go US News and World Report!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Up and running

School started and with it all the stresses of a new year and yet I seem to be adding more things to do to my plate. Yet I'm still working towards my masters and narrowing my research question down to a sizeable finshable amount. I'm taking a qualitative course from a wonderful professor who is challenging my quantitative training.

We read a provocative article by Tom Barone titled, "Making Educational History: Qualitative Inquiry, Artistry, and the Public Interest" found in and edited volume. In the article Barone discusses the need to move research audiance from talking to themselves and to talk to practictioners aka teachers. He states, "I am imagining research projects that reach out to an audience that trancends one consisting only of collegues and those alternative readers and viewers" (P. 219). Doesn't this sound like the web 2.0 world of publishing? This is the type of research I'm interested in and hope to conduct.