- May 23, 2006The following rant shakes and rambles the status quo and is filled
with many generalizations. I'm painting with a broad brush here for
possible further discourse. If any of these issues hit home with you,
we can continue the dialogue, if not, then drop it!
The reactionary "State of Filtering" in K-12 schools completely appals
me. Someone has an inappropriate blog? Ban all blogs. MySp@ce
exists? Ban anything and everything with the word in it, and oh,
let's actually make illegal any website based upon community. Playboy
exists? Ban all magazines. The list goes on and on and no one seems
to care that all of these actions do not truly protect our kids, but
completely erode freedom of speech, not to mention putting a huge
damper on using the Net for educational purposes.
If our country were truly serious about protecting kids, we would have
created .sex and .xxx domains rather than dump the idea a month ago.
The religious right controls many of the filtering software companies
and uses its power to further its own religious agenda rather than
truly making the Net a safer place for all. Trying to keep students
from "seeing anything and everything bad" means filtering much that is
good. Of course, our country and mainstream media loves to vilify the
Net and paint it as a place wholly inhabited by predators. Dateline
has done 10 of the same "to catch a predator" shows, but has yet to
show any positive ways for students or parents to act online. Indeed,
have you *ever* seen a mainstream media show that shows anything
positive about the Internet?
We've allowed what happens in schools to become so politicized through
NCLB that educators have their hands completely tied as far as what
best practices they may employ. Why doesn't the NEA and ACLU file a
lawsuit eliminating filters? Indeed, why isn't there a filtering
system that operates in the opposite way? Namely, if a site contains
inappropriate material a button is clicked and that site becomes noted
as suspect and then reviewed to ban? Of course this will never happen
because it means some kid somewhere might see something bad.
I think the negativist view of the Net coupled with the appalling lack
of support for educators means that very few use the Net with their
classes. I'd be amazed if more than 10% of educators nationwide
integrate the Net into any of their classes even once a year. Pew, do
you have a report on this? The chilling effect freezes the Net.
OK... that's pretty much enough of a rant for now. I think I'll go
back to bed for a few.
- Next post in topic >>