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!


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