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Re: [WWWEDU] School Blogging Policies

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  • Claude Almansi
    ... True, Nancy But I was wondering: some blogging places like blogger.com make it possible to have multiple authors, with or without administrative status.
    Message 1 of 20 , Nov 30, 2005
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      Nancy Willard wrote:
      > Sorry my friend.
      >
      > There are ways that we can get this done within the system. Recommending to
      > students that they go outside the school to set up blogs that are then
      > incorporated into their classwork is a recipe for trouble, and potential
      > liability, for a teacher.

      True, Nancy

      But I was wondering: some blogging places like blogger.com make it
      possible to have multiple authors, with or without administrative
      status. Couldn't a teacher create the blogs to be used in class, and
      then invite each student to each relevant blog, confering him/her only
      writing privileges?

      Time consuming, sure, but getting an oonline behavior policy and a
      server set up so that school blogs can be hosted there from education
      and school authorities could be even more nerve-racking.

      I know cases where education and school authorities are only vaguely
      aware that harm that can be done using things called blogs, chats, SMS -
      whereas teachers would like to start doing something positive with these
      same tools, so that students can learn the rules of online
      writing/behavior. But no way they could get the sysops to set up the
      server to enable blogging. And as to getting an official blogging policy
      - well, school and education authorities should first understand what
      actually are blogs ecc.

      Best

      Claude

      --
      Claude Almansi
      Castione, Switzerland
      http://www.adisi.ch
      http://www.digitaldivide.net/profile/Claude
      http://www.digitaldivide.net/blog/claude
      http://www.digitaldivide.net/community/languages
    • Web Manager
      vaguely aware that harm that can be done using things called blogs, chats, SMS What harm can a blog do? If you are talking about cyber-bullying I can see
      Message 2 of 20 , Dec 1, 2005
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        "vaguely aware that harm that can be done using things called blogs, chats,
        SMS"

        What harm can a blog do? If you are talking about cyber-bullying I can see
        your basic point but a blog would be the worst possible tool for
        cyber-bullying since there is a record of each post usually time and date
        stamped at that. I would be interested to know your views on what
        *specific* harms that blogs present.

        It's possible that I am simply one of the vaguely aware :-)

        Joshua

        -----Original Message-----
        From: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wwwedu@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of
        Claude Almansi
        Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 4:24 PM
        To: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [WWWEDU] School Blogging Policies




        Nancy Willard wrote:
        > Sorry my friend.
        >
        > There are ways that we can get this done within the system. Recommending
        to
        > students that they go outside the school to set up blogs that are then
        > incorporated into their classwork is a recipe for trouble, and potential
        > liability, for a teacher.

        True, Nancy

        But I was wondering: some blogging places like blogger.com make it
        possible to have multiple authors, with or without administrative
        status. Couldn't a teacher create the blogs to be used in class, and
        then invite each student to each relevant blog, confering him/her only
        writing privileges?

        Time consuming, sure, but getting an oonline behavior policy and a
        server set up so that school blogs can be hosted there from education
        and school authorities could be even more nerve-racking.

        I know cases where education and school authorities are only vaguely
        aware that harm that can be done using things called blogs, chats, SMS -
        whereas teachers would like to start doing something positive with these
        same tools, so that students can learn the rules of online
        writing/behavior. But no way they could get the sysops to set up the
        server to enable blogging. And as to getting an official blogging policy
        - well, school and education authorities should first understand what
        actually are blogs ecc.

        Best

        Claude

        --
        Claude Almansi
        Castione, Switzerland
        http://www.adisi.ch
        http://www.digitaldivide.net/profile/Claude
        http://www.digitaldivide.net/blog/claude
        http://www.digitaldivide.net/community/languages







        WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
        http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html

        Yahoo! Groups Links
      • Susan Artkras
        very interested in this topic... I was using blogs with my middle school students but switched to discussion boards because I felt I wasn t utilizing blogs for
        Message 3 of 20 , Dec 1, 2005
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          very interested in this topic...

          I was using blogs with my middle school students but switched to
          discussion boards because I felt I wasn't utilizing blogs for their true
          purpose. Many of my students share their personal blogs, webpages, etc.
          with me, and these are NOT school sponsored activities. It is surprising
          the lack of supervision these sites have, other than the student
          administrator who is taking on a big responsibility.

          I use d-boards to facilitate a nationwide collaborative project. I work
          closely with my district tech coordinators who talk with the legal dept of
          the district. The most frequent comment I hear is "good faith...good
          actions", which is turned into action on my part by:

          -clearly stating expectations to teachers for their role and their students
          -establishing a compliance page (rules of the d-board) that is the direct
          link to accessing the boards
          -inserting a page that teaches netiquette and online discussion skills
          -using the adminstrative features to ensure a safe environment (deleting
          comments, moderating comments, finding IP and banning)
          -my students also help monitor for quality and appropriateness
          -I am vigilent about checking the boards to make sure offensive
          language/comments are immediately deleted and teachers notified if
          discipline is demanded
          -I've offered the administrative passwords to other teachers involved so
          they can help out
          -I've presented the project to my students parents at open house
          -student comments are a part of their grade--graded on quality--expository
          skills criteria (supporting your opinions, providing research, making
          textual references, connecting with other members of the board)
          -I post comments on the board.

          In over 5000+ comments there have been 3 comments that demanded discipline
          (profanity). In one case the comment was posted during the day, and a
          number of students saw it but ignored it (good teaching on the teacher's
          part). When irrelevant comments are posted, students are quick to tell the
          student to get back on topic. They also tell the board not to use text
          messaging or funny fonts, etc. They want quality, too!

          The boards have a clear purpose that is stated; it's not just a place to
          journal or gossip.

          IF educators don't teach students how to use the WEB appropriately, WHO
          WILL. I still get anxious, but I know I am providing an excellent lesson
          for my students. We often talk about the web, email, sites,
          professionalism, rights, etc. in regard to the web. Every irrelevant or
          even inappropriate comment is a TEACHABLE moment.

          Schools are expected to teach about drugs, sex, character education,
          religious historical roots, how to walk in hallway, organize a binder,
          study for test, read, write....
          shouldn't we teach students how to work in an environment which is here
          and is their future--the WWW?

          ON another note, I have found authentic audiences via the web, which in
          turn has turned up the notch in my classes regarding professionalism,
          editing, voice, etc.

          Would love to hear more perspectives, ideas, etc.

          ******************************************************
          Susan Artkras,
          artkras.susan@...
          http://sartkras.edwebhosting.com

          Hixson Middle School
          630 South Elm
          Webster Groves, MO 63119
          314-919-4593 (voice)
          ******************************************************
        • Claude Almansi
          ... 1) Tracing the real blog owner can be a lengthy and costly affair 2) Tracing the authors of comments to a blog can be even more complicated: some blog
          Message 4 of 20 , Dec 1, 2005
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            Web Manager wrote:
            > "vaguely aware that harm that can be done using things called blogs, chats,
            > SMS"
            >
            > What harm can a blog do? If you are talking about cyber-bullying I can see
            > your basic point but a blog would be the worst possible tool for
            > cyber-bullying since there is a record of each post usually time and date
            > stamped at that. I would be interested to know your views on what
            > *specific* harms that blogs present.

            1) Tracing the real blog owner can be a lengthy and costly affair
            2) Tracing the authors of comments to a blog can be even more
            complicated: some blog programs allow posting programs while using
            anonymzers (www.iobloggo.com for instance).
            3) Many offenders using comments as in 3 are not aware of IP logging
            4) Many blog owners are not aware of of commentors' IP logging
            5) Many blog owners don't know how to moderate/watch comments¨
            6) Blog posts and comments can be and have been used for voluntary offences
            7) Blog posts and comments can be occasion of in/voluntary offences:
            violations of privacy and of copyright, bandwidth theft

            Some examples (Nancy Willard has many more)

            - The comments in http://orabasta.iobloggo.com, the blog of Dacia
            Valent, an Italian human rights militant, were used by racists to
            threaten the life of her children. In the first instance, the threats
            were written from the racist's work place. Further threats were however
            posted using an anonymizer (see 2).

            - The comments in http://salamelik.blogspot.com, the blog of Sherif El
            Sebaie, an Italian journalist and, again, in
            http://orabasta.iobloggo.com, are repeatedly used to defame the blog
            owners, at times with and at times without an anonymizer.

            - I won't post on a discussion list whose archive is public the URL's of
            blogs where privacy, copyright, and bandwidth ownership are regularly
            violated. But I could give several examples, where
            a) received e-mails are copy-pasted whole, with sender's and other
            recipients' addresses showing
            b) copyrighted articles are copypasted whole, pictures included;
            c) not to mention intentional privacy violations, defamation etc.

            Sure, many of these offences can also happen in an online forum or in a
            mailing list with a public archive. But blogs are far easier to set up
            and have become far more popular.

            cheers

            Claude

            --
            Claude Almansi
            Castione, Switzerland
            http://www.adisi.ch
            http://www.digitaldivide.net/profile/Claude
            http://www.digitaldivide.net/blog/claude
            http://www.digitaldivide.net/community/languages
          • Web Manager
            Interesting points all around. Many things that I hadn t considered but can t the majority of these comments be summarized into unmanaged blogs posit a
            Message 5 of 20 , Dec 1, 2005
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              Interesting points all around. Many things that I hadn't considered but
              can't the majority of these comments be summarized into "unmanaged blogs"
              posit a threat? This then becomes a matter of education. For instance, on
              my blog I moderate all comments, choose which to display, have all copied to
              me via email and all are logged.

              I can't stop someone from threatening me but I can stop it from being posted
              to the world. I would think that blog defacing would be far more popular
              than these tactics. By taking these simple steps I can eliminate nearly all
              of the problems you mention except the actual action of the aggressor.

              Would it be more fair to say, "unmoderated/unmanaged blogs constitute a
              threat?" At the end of the day (imo) it is people that constitute a threat
              via various mediums. By managing the interactive aspects of blogging
              accordingly many of the threats might be managed.

              If we take the stance that we must "beware the ignorant" and thus not use
              the tools then we impede our progress mightily.

              I'd appreciate comments on this position since I tend to champion the use of
              blogs in education quite heavily. My basic point is that educated users
              create a safe blogging environment and that regardless of the medium, we
              cannot prevent threats but only manage them effectively.

              Thoughts?

              Joshua

              -----Original Message-----
              From: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wwwedu@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of
              Claude Almansi
              Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 10:59 AM
              To: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [WWWEDU] School Blogging Policies




              Web Manager wrote:
              > "vaguely aware that harm that can be done using things called blogs,
              chats,
              > SMS"
              >
              > What harm can a blog do? If you are talking about cyber-bullying I can
              see
              > your basic point but a blog would be the worst possible tool for
              > cyber-bullying since there is a record of each post usually time and date
              > stamped at that. I would be interested to know your views on what
              > *specific* harms that blogs present.

              1) Tracing the real blog owner can be a lengthy and costly affair
              2) Tracing the authors of comments to a blog can be even more
              complicated: some blog programs allow posting programs while using
              anonymzers (www.iobloggo.com for instance).
              3) Many offenders using comments as in 3 are not aware of IP logging
              4) Many blog owners are not aware of of commentors' IP logging
              5) Many blog owners don't know how to moderate/watch comments¨
              6) Blog posts and comments can be and have been used for voluntary offences
              7) Blog posts and comments can be occasion of in/voluntary offences:
              violations of privacy and of copyright, bandwidth theft

              Some examples (Nancy Willard has many more)

              - The comments in http://orabasta.iobloggo.com, the blog of Dacia
              Valent, an Italian human rights militant, were used by racists to
              threaten the life of her children. In the first instance, the threats
              were written from the racist's work place. Further threats were however
              posted using an anonymizer (see 2).

              - The comments in http://salamelik.blogspot.com, the blog of Sherif El
              Sebaie, an Italian journalist and, again, in
              http://orabasta.iobloggo.com, are repeatedly used to defame the blog
              owners, at times with and at times without an anonymizer.

              - I won't post on a discussion list whose archive is public the URL's of
              blogs where privacy, copyright, and bandwidth ownership are regularly
              violated. But I could give several examples, where
              a) received e-mails are copy-pasted whole, with sender's and other
              recipients' addresses showing
              b) copyrighted articles are copypasted whole, pictures included;
              c) not to mention intentional privacy violations, defamation etc.

              Sure, many of these offences can also happen in an online forum or in a
              mailing list with a public archive. But blogs are far easier to set up
              and have become far more popular.

              cheers

              Claude

              --
              Claude Almansi
              Castione, Switzerland
              http://www.adisi.ch
              http://www.digitaldivide.net/profile/Claude
              http://www.digitaldivide.net/blog/claude
              http://www.digitaldivide.net/community/languages








              WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
              http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html

              Yahoo! Groups Links
            • Claude Almansi
              Sorry, errtum in my previous e-mail: ... please read ... some blog programs allow posting comments... cheers Claude -- Claude Almansi Castione, Switzerland
              Message 6 of 20 , Dec 1, 2005
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                Sorry, errtum in my previous e-mail:

                in:
                > 2) Tracing the authors of comments to a blog can be even more
                > complicated: some blog programs allow posting programs while using
                > anonymzers (www.iobloggo.com for instance).

                please read "... some blog programs allow posting comments..."

                cheers

                Claude

                --
                Claude Almansi
                Castione, Switzerland
                http://www.adisi.ch
                http://www.digitaldivide.net/profile/Claude
                http://www.digitaldivide.net/blog/claude
                http://www.digitaldivide.net/community/languages
              • Claude Almansi
                ... Actually, I think we were in agreement from the start :-) The 2 Italiancases of abuse via comments are due to the deliberate choice of the bloggers not to
                Message 7 of 20 , Dec 1, 2005
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                  Web Manager wrote:
                  > (...)
                  >
                  > Would it be more fair to say, "unmoderated/unmanaged blogs constitute a
                  > threat?" At the end of the day (imo) it is people that constitute a threat
                  > via various mediums. By managing the interactive aspects of blogging
                  > accordingly many of the threats might be managed.
                  >
                  > If we take the stance that we must "beware the ignorant" and thus not use
                  > the tools then we impede our progress mightily.
                  >
                  > I'd appreciate comments on this position since I tend to champion the use of
                  > blogs in education quite heavily. My basic point is that educated users
                  > create a safe blogging environment and that regardless of the medium, we
                  > cannot prevent threats but only manage them effectively.
                  >
                  > Thoughts?
                  >
                  > (...)

                  Actually, I think we were in agreement from the start :-) The 2
                  Italiancases of abuse via comments are due to the deliberate choice of
                  the bloggers not to moderate comments (though one of them did, for a
                  while). But then these 2 bloggers are adults. On the other end of the
                  spectrum, Lorenzo Cantoni, professor at the dept of communication
                  sciences of Università della Svizzera Italiana, simply does not allow
                  comments in his <http://newmine.blogspot.com/> blog. Surely, moderation
                  is a possible middle way.

                  Of course blogs are no more intrinsically bad or good than any
                  communication tech tool. And I agree with you that using them in
                  education would also permit to educate students about their online
                  responsibilities (in fact, in my 1st post in this thread, I wondered
                  about the possibility to "double steer" blogs, as in the cars used to
                  teach driving).

                  Blogs are not intrinsically more dangerous than any other form of online
                  publishing tech. The risk comes from their easy use, which means they
                  can be carelessly used by lot of people who ignore the responsibilities
                  at stake in online publishing. Young people have a right to be still
                  ignorant of these responsibilities, because they are young. The problem
                  is that many teachers are aware of them - but ill at ease with tech.

                  "If only youth knew - If only old age could", says a French proverb. Not
                  saying that teachers are "old age" in real life - but many of them are
                  or feel overtaken by tech developments, and are afraid of venturing into
                  using tech with students, whom they perceive as more tech-savvy, lest
                  the students start baiting them.

                  And even a very tech-savvy teacher like Craig Bottomley (Australia)
                  expressed bafflement at the ways of kids with tech (but remembering that
                  mutatis mutandis, he was doing the same when he was their age). See
                  "Have a great day"
                  <http://bottsplace.blogspot.com/2005/11/have-great-day.html>, Nov 20,
                  2005, in in Bott's Tafe Place <http://bottsplace.blogspot.com>: both
                  hilarious and insightful.

                  And thus, even more for less tech-savvy teachers - and for teachers who
                  were always well-behaved students or have forgotten that they weren't
                  always - to venture into using blogs in their lessons, some kind of
                  institutional framework is needed, meaning guidelines, and a code of
                  online behavior endorsed by the school and educational authorities.

                  At a school were I was taught in 2000-2001, the teacher in charge of the
                  computer lab had made such a code of conduct, which the students had to
                  sign and have signed by their parents. But when one student broke it and
                  the teacher wanted to apply the penalty foreseen, education authorities
                  gave in /had to give in to the influential pressure of the students'
                  parents, denying the vaildity of a code of conduct written by one
                  teacher in one school, even though that code had been endorsed by the
                  headmaster And as "being in charge of the computer room" is an honorary
                  chore involving a lot more work than than the hours foreseen for it, the
                  teacher rightfully handed it back.

                  cheers

                  Claude

                  --
                  Claude Almansi

                  http://www.adisi.ch
                  http://www.digitaldivide.net/profile/Claude
                  http://www.digitaldivide.net/blog/claude
                  http://www.digitaldivide.net/community/languages
                • Nancy Willard
                  ... What harm can a blog do. Let me count the ways: But first, let me talk about the concept of contributory negligence. The theory of contributory
                  Message 8 of 20 , Dec 1, 2005
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                    > What harm can a blog do? <snip>
                    >
                    > Joshua

                    What harm can a blog do. <sigh> Let me count the ways:

                    But first, let me talk about the concept of contributory negligence. The
                    theory of contributory negligence allows a harmed party to sue a person who
                    has played a significant role in providing the opportunity for another
                    person to engage in negligence or intentional actions that have caused harm.

                    Now, who, I ask, is likely to have deeper pockets -- a kid and his/her
                    parents or a school district?

                    And if you follow Ted's advice (sorry Ted) and encourage your students to
                    establish their own blogs on a third party commercial site and then use
                    these materials in the context of your instruction, then you also ought to
                    check your own liability policy.

                    Sorry to be so dismal, but this is the reality of the situation.

                    My current list of stuff to worry about includes:

                    * Copyright infringement. (I should mention there is a doctrine of
                    contributory copyright infringement that you should pay attention to if you
                    approve and post material provided by a student that infringes on someone
                    else's copyright.)

                    * Defamation -- of another student, staff member, or someone out in the
                    community. (Student blog entry: "My dad says his boss, XYZ at ABC company is
                    embezzling company funds.)

                    * Invasion of privacy -- of another student, staff member, member of the
                    student's one family, or someone else in the community. (Student blog entry
                    "My Dad came home from work drunk and beat up my mom.")

                    * Bullying or harassment of another student.

                    * Providing personal contact information or other personal information about
                    any student. (think FERPA)

                    * Now I suppose students could also get into criminal activity on a blog,
                    such as: Making a threat, Posting child pornography (sexually explicit
                    picture of another student), Committing a hate crime.

                    * Probably ought to add to the list use of obscene language, which is not a
                    legal concern but would be a school concern.

                    * And let's not forget plagiarism, also not a legal concern, but a school
                    concern.

                    * This is a long shot, but if a parent or someone else has shared a
                    company's trade secrets and a student puts this information into a blog,
                    this is disclosure of trade secret information.

                    * There are also many concerns about the ramifications of getting into
                    discussions about controversial subjects in public student blogs. Here I am
                    much more inclined to support teacher efforts to encourage students to
                    respectfully discuss controversial subjects. I think it is important for
                    students to be able to engage in effective persuasive writing, learn to
                    distinguish fact from opinion, and learn to express their views about
                    controversial issues in an effective manner -- which includes being
                    respectful to those who hold different views.

                    But teachers are going to have to be very realistic about the possible
                    perspective on this that might be held by school administration, parents,
                    and the local community.

                    Recognize that when you have established a public student blog everything
                    posted in that blog is: PUBLIC AND PERMANENT AND AVAILABLE TO ANYONE IN THE
                    COMMUNITY!!!

                    (I am working on student curriculum around cyberbullying and cyberthreats
                    and I have a statement in the section on privacy that reads: "Everything you
                    put into electronic form is permanent, is or can be made public, and is
                    easily transmittable to anyone, anywhere in the world." Should I have to
                    remind educators of this point also?)

                    EVERYTHING that you do as a teacher within the context of this blog will be
                    totally and fully open to public view. Now, I happen to think this is not a
                    totally bad thing. But make sure you personally are ready for this. Do you
                    want to provide a window into the happenings in your class to the world?

                    Recognize that any parent or community member can download a copy of your
                    class blog and trot down to the board meeting or the newspaper if they
                    happen to take issue with anything you have posted or have allowed your
                    students to post in this public forum.

                    Any discussions about sexual issues are likely to result in an uproar. This
                    includes sexual orientation issues, abortion, safe sex, abstinence, ...
                    Ditto for any issue related to religion: intelligent design, role of
                    religion in government, ...

                    So, let's steer into safer waters. How about a discussion of Bush's speech
                    on Iraq? Hmm. What conservative activist is going to be trotting down to the
                    school board with your student's blog in hand complaining that you are
                    brainwashing students into disrespect for their commander in chief? Or what
                    liberal activist is going to be ...

                    Are you beginning to get the point?

                    Maybe there are some distinct advantages to the fact that you are able to
                    quietly close your class room door and communicate with your students in a
                    more private, unrecorded setting.

                    Now think like an administrator. Are you going to trust that every teacher
                    will be able to safely and effectively handle these kinds of situations in
                    such as way as to keep students safe and keep the district out of trouble?
                    Would you trust that every teacher in your district would be able to do
                    this???


                    Now, you have to understand that I really do not like throwing cold water in
                    the faces of tech enthusiasts. But I am really trying to keep you folks out
                    of hot water. (It is really dismal and rainy here in Oregon, so sorry for
                    all of the water references -- just seemed appropriate.)

                    If we are not *really careful* in figuring all of this stuff out and doing
                    this correctly, what is going to result is some major flak and a door thrown
                    very tight against any of this kind of activity. So take advantage of the
                    fact that I am generally on your side and I am the one pointing out the
                    concerns.

                    (And just to save me from having to respond to folks who respectfully
                    request permission to forward my messages. ;-) I fully recognize that my
                    messages posted to this discussion group are public, permanent, and easily
                    disseminated. And I consider it perfectly appropriate to forward this
                    message to others.


                    So, now, let's get to some problem solving. How can we safely engage
                    students in blogging in a way that will effectively and proactively address
                    these kinds of concerns?

                    Some questions:

                    Is it really necessary to have public classroom blogs to take advantage of
                    this technology to encourage students to communicate? There may be some
                    distinct advantages to using some form of an intranet for blogging.
                    Although, recognize that any student can take anything posted on an intranet
                    and sent it to anyone else. So an intranet would provide some privacy, but
                    not total privacy.

                    What degree of control is necessary for the teacher to have in approving the
                    posting of any student submission?

                    What policy provisions are necessary?

                    What education and notice is necessary for students?

                    What education and notice is necessary for teachers?

                    A long time ago I recommended that districts/schools set up a complaint
                    system on their web pages if they are allowing any student postings on a
                    school-associated web site. This complaint process would allow other people
                    to file a complaint about any material that is perceived to be a copyright
                    violation or present any other concerns. Maybe it is time to pull out this
                    recommendation (that no one ever followed).

                    Other thoughts?

                    Nancy

                    --
                    Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
                    Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use
                    http://cyberbully.org
                    http://csriu.org
                    nwillard@...
                  • Robert D. Sharp
                    Joshua, I would tend to agree with your one basic premise ... In a perfect world, all blogs open to school age children and I include anyone under the age of
                    Message 9 of 20 , Dec 1, 2005
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                      Joshua,
                      I would tend to agree with your one basic premise

                      > Would it be more fair to say, "unmoderated/unmanaged blogs
                      > constitute a
                      > threat?"

                      In a perfect world, all blogs open to school age children and I
                      include anyone under the age of 26 to be in that category, would be
                      moderated heavily by a person who is held accountable and responsible
                      for what is posted.

                      However,...

                      It is the "however" that I am positive that Claude Alamansi and Nancy
                      Willard are advising us to be informed about. The frontal lobes of
                      the human species just is not developed enough to foresee the problems.

                      I have not read the rest of the messages today but felt compelled to
                      respond.

                      Bob


                      On Dec 1, 2005, at 9:24 AM, Web Manager wrote:

                      > Interesting points all around. Many things that I hadn't
                      > considered but
                      > can't the majority of these comments be summarized into "unmanaged
                      > blogs"
                      > posit a threat? This then becomes a matter of education. For
                      > instance, on
                      > my blog I moderate all comments, choose which to display, have all
                      > copied to
                      > me via email and all are logged.
                      >
                      > I can't stop someone from threatening me but I can stop it from
                      > being posted
                      > to the world. I would think that blog defacing would be far more
                      > popular
                      > than these tactics. By taking these simple steps I can eliminate
                      > nearly all
                      > of the problems you mention except the actual action of the aggressor.
                      >
                      > Would it be more fair to say, "unmoderated/unmanaged blogs
                      > constitute a
                      > threat?" At the end of the day (imo) it is people that constitute
                      > a threat
                      > via various mediums. By managing the interactive aspects of blogging
                      > accordingly many of the threats might be managed.
                      >
                      > If we take the stance that we must "beware the ignorant" and thus
                      > not use
                      > the tools then we impede our progress mightily.
                      >
                      > I'd appreciate comments on this position since I tend to champion
                      > the use of
                      > blogs in education quite heavily. My basic point is that educated
                      > users
                      > create a safe blogging environment and that regardless of the
                      > medium, we
                      > cannot prevent threats but only manage them effectively.
                      >
                      > Thoughts?
                      >
                      > Joshua
                      >
                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wwwedu@yahoogroups.com]On
                      > Behalf Of
                      > Claude Almansi
                      > Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 10:59 AM
                      > To: wwwedu@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: Re: [WWWEDU] School Blogging Policies
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Web Manager wrote:
                      > > "vaguely aware that harm that can be done using things called blogs,
                      > chats,
                      > > SMS"
                      > >
                      > > What harm can a blog do? If you are talking about cyber-bullying
                      > I can
                      > see
                      > > your basic point but a blog would be the worst possible tool for
                      > > cyber-bullying since there is a record of each post usually time
                      > and date
                      > > stamped at that. I would be interested to know your views on what
                      > > *specific* harms that blogs present.
                      >
                      > 1) Tracing the real blog owner can be a lengthy and costly affair
                      > 2) Tracing the authors of comments to a blog can be even more
                      > complicated: some blog programs allow posting programs while using
                      > anonymzers (www.iobloggo.com for instance).
                      > 3) Many offenders using comments as in 3 are not aware of IP logging
                      > 4) Many blog owners are not aware of of commentors' IP logging
                      > 5) Many blog owners don't know how to moderate/watch comments¨
                      > 6) Blog posts and comments can be and have been used for voluntary
                      > offences
                      > 7) Blog posts and comments can be occasion of in/voluntary offences:
                      > violations of privacy and of copyright, bandwidth theft
                      >
                      > Some examples (Nancy Willard has many more)
                      >
                      > - The comments in http://orabasta.iobloggo.com, the blog of Dacia
                      > Valent, an Italian human rights militant, were used by racists to
                      > threaten the life of her children. In the first instance, the threats
                      > were written from the racist's work place. Further threats were
                      > however
                      > posted using an anonymizer (see 2).
                      >
                      > - The comments in http://salamelik.blogspot.com, the blog of Sherif El
                      > Sebaie, an Italian journalist and, again, in
                      > http://orabasta.iobloggo.com, are repeatedly used to defame the blog
                      > owners, at times with and at times without an anonymizer.
                      >
                      > - I won't post on a discussion list whose archive is public the
                      > URL's of
                      > blogs where privacy, copyright, and bandwidth ownership are
                      > regularly
                      > violated. But I could give several examples, where
                      > a) received e-mails are copy-pasted whole, with sender's and other
                      > recipients' addresses showing
                      > b) copyrighted articles are copypasted whole, pictures included;
                      > c) not to mention intentional privacy violations, defamation etc.
                      >
                      > Sure, many of these offences can also happen in an online forum or
                      > in a
                      > mailing list with a public archive. But blogs are far easier to
                      > set up
                      > and have become far more popular.
                      >
                      > cheers
                      >
                      > Claude
                      >
                      > --
                      > Claude Almansi
                      > Castione, Switzerland
                      > http://www.adisi.ch
                      > http://www.digitaldivide.net/profile/Claude
                      > http://www.digitaldivide.net/blog/claude
                      > http://www.digitaldivide.net/community/languages
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
                      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
                      > http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
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                      >
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                      >
                      >
                      > WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
                      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
                      > http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html
                      >
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                      >
                      >



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Claude Almansi
                      Hi Nancy and All ... This is a very important point I had overlooked in answering Joshua. I should also have said that for my list, shorter than yours, Nancy,
                      Message 10 of 20 , Dec 2, 2005
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                        Hi Nancy and All

                        Nancy Willard wrote:
                        >>What harm can a blog do? <snip>
                        >>
                        >>Joshua
                        >
                        >
                        > What harm can a blog do. <sigh> Let me count the ways:
                        >
                        > But first, let me talk about the concept of contributory negligence. The
                        > theory of contributory negligence allows a harmed party to sue a person who
                        > has played a significant role in providing the opportunity for another
                        > person to engage in negligence or intentional actions that have caused harm.
                        >
                        > Now, who, I ask, is likely to have deeper pockets -- a kid and his/her
                        > parents or a school district?

                        This is a very important point I had overlooked in answering Joshua. I
                        should also have said that for my list, shorter than yours, Nancy, I am
                        heavily indebted to your work: apart from what you wrote for WWWEDU and
                        the material on your site, thanks again for having kindly accepted to be
                        interviewed for ADISI's broadcast Tam Tam www.adisi.ch/tamtam .

                        I'll see if we have this "contributory negligence" concept in
                        Switzerland too. It might help encouraging school authorities to
                        seriously deal with the issue of online-writing in school context,
                        instead of letting teachers fence for themselves in a "Hic sunt leones"
                        territory.

                        >
                        > And if you follow Ted's advice (sorry Ted) and encourage your students to
                        > establish their own blogs on a third party commercial site and then use
                        > these materials in the context of your instruction, then you also ought to
                        > check your own liability policy.

                        I understand that if blogs used in school are public, the "double
                        steering" of blogs possibility I asked about earlier still leaves a lot
                        of problems open , also related to your questions:

                        > What degree of control is necessary for the teacher to have in
                        approving the
                        > posting of any student submission?
                        >
                        > What policy provisions are necessary?
                        >
                        > What education and notice is necessary for students?
                        >
                        > What education and notice is necessary for teachers?

                        But then, even with non-public blogging, would there not be a risk that
                        students copy-paste from their own (or another student's) school blog to
                        their own public blog? Quoting you again:

                        > ...I am working on student curriculum around cyberbullying and
                        cyberthreats
                        > and I have a statement in the section on privacy that reads:
                        "Everything you
                        > put into electronic form is permanent, is or can be made public, and is
                        > easily transmittable to anyone, anywhere in the world."...

                        Would the school /school district still be liable in this case, if the
                        copied and publicized content breaks the law / is objectionable?

                        Still, it would be worth using the intranet solutions you are proposing.
                        I am only wondering about the need to have such a solution hosted in the
                        school / school district system. Again, this hesitation is based on my
                        Swiss experience. The Geneva teachers' working-group on middle-school
                        syllabus had a hard time obtaining a private wiki on Educanet.ch for
                        elaborating their documents, so it is likely that teachers asking for
                        wiki / blog facilities there for class work would have an even harder time.

                        Through the blogs of a group of Australian teachers I've ben following
                        recently, I discovered www.wikispaces.com. I am just using it as an
                        example because that's the one I know, there are probably other similar
                        offers. Characteristics:

                        - Detailed terms of service and privacy policy, clear help menu, fast
                        and clear answers to questions posted in the help menu discussion/comments.
                        - 2 membership statuses: organizer and member, so teachers could be
                        organizers and students simple writing members
                        - Free (non paying) spaces/wikis there can be public or semi-private
                        (only members of the space can post pages or comments, everyone can read).
                        - For 50 US$ a year, you are rid of the google ads and can make the
                        space private.
                        - One wikispaces wiki might be enough for a whole school: no limitation
                        to the number of pages per wiki, so it would just be a matter of
                        structuring it correctly.
                        - You can easily make blogs in wikis by using the comments/discussion
                        feature: each post in a comment thread (or anything you write in a wiki,
                        for that matter) can be signed and dated by members by typing ~~~~
                        - It is possible to download a backup of the last version of a whole
                        wiki in two clicks. The back-up comes in a zipped file containing the
                        pages in UTF-8-coded .txt files.
                        - It is possible to activate RSS feeds for pages, for comments and for
                        both pages and comments (not sure if this works for private wikis, though).

                        I have only tried the free version (semi-private), true. But would it
                        not be worth looking into the private solutions of such external wiki
                        providers? $50 a year is a small sum for a school.

                        In Switzerland, at least, I feel it would make sense, rather than trying
                        to get a wiki / blogging space from the federal and apparently
                        understaffed educanet.ch. No go at cantonal level: one of the sysops of
                        the Ticino cantonal network I was corresponding with 2 years ago told me
                        she had recommanded mayeticvillage to a group of teachers who wanted an
                        intranet ... after seeing the one we had started with ADISI :-S

                        Last advantage, not relevant in the US context but relevant in other
                        countries: language customization. The first page I did in the wiki we
                        are trying at wikispaces was an Italian translation of the help menu; I
                        then let the providers know, telling them they could use it in the main
                        site if they wished. Which they did, so now, if you click on the help
                        menu from any wiki hosted at wikispaces, there is a link to the Italian
                        version (alongside links to the Spanish and Polish versions, probably
                        created in the same manner). Then we did the same with the page
                        explaining wiki codes.

                        I'm presently translating the Terms of Service, and next will be the
                        Privacy Policy. People should know what they commit themselves to when
                        they sign up. Especially students - and even some teachers - whose
                        command of English is limited.

                        The UTF-8 encoding mentioned above means that these wikis can be used in
                        almost any language, even those not using the Latin alphabet.

                        cheers

                        Claude

                        --
                        Claude Almansi
                        Castione, Switzerland
                        http://www.adisi.ch
                        http://www.digitaldivide.net/profile/Claude
                        http://www.digitaldivide.net/blog/claude
                        http://www.digitaldivide.net/community/languages


                        NB La mia messaggeria di posta elettronica è impostata per rifiutare
                        e-mail di più di 200kb.
                        Per favore, se *dovete* condividere un file pesante, mettetelo online e
                        mandatemi l'URL (si può fare con http://www.rapidshare.de ad es).
                        NB My e-mail client is set on accepting only e-mails under 200kb.
                        If you *have to* share a big file, please put it online and send me the
                        URL (you can do that at http://www.rapidshare.de , for instance).
                      • BBracey@aol.com
                        ... Great work Claude, and the language information is great for some of the projects I am working on. There are countries where there would be no provision in
                        Message 11 of 20 , Dec 3, 2005
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                          In a message dated 12/2/05 10:08:27 PM, claude.almansi@... writes:


                          >
                          > Last advantage, not relevant in the US context but relevant in other
                          > countries: language customization. The first page I did in the wiki we
                          > are trying at wikispaces was an Italian translation of the help menu;  I
                          > then let the providers know, telling them they could use it in the main
                          > site if they wished. Which they did, so now, if you click on the help
                          > menu from any wiki hosted at wikispaces, there is a link to the Italian
                          > version (alongside links to the Spanish and Polish versions, probably
                          > created in the same manner). Then we did the same with the page
                          > explaining wiki codes.
                          >

                          Great work Claude, and the language information is great for some of the
                          projects I am working on.

                          There are countries where there would be no provision in a school way , to
                          host a blog. I had a great time in Cyprus( Nicosia , Greece( Athens), and in
                          Italy( Rome) talking to teachers about international technology use. We are
                          creating a project for the Agora for the EU.

                          Bonnie Bracey Sutton
                          bbracey@...


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • mahlness
                          Nancy, You wrote at such length, and so well, it s taken me a while to get together a response to your excellent list of all the things that can go wrong when
                          Message 12 of 20 , Dec 3, 2005
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                            Nancy,
                            You wrote at such length, and so well, it's taken me a while to get
                            together a response to your excellent list of all the things that can
                            go wrong when young people start blogging.

                            What bothers me is the lack of trust in, or concern about the
                            competence of, those teachers who are out there blogging with their
                            students. Of course we realize it's public and permanent. We blogging
                            teachers are not a bunch of yahoo hotheads, rushing off half-cocked
                            to try the latest gadget the Internet has to offer. We certainly do
                            realize the dangers. The safety of our students is the number one
                            issue, the first thing we think about, when we go online - for
                            anything.

                            I guess you'll just have to trust me on this. I would encourage
                            anyone concerned about student blogging issues to connect with other
                            blogging teachers. I've mentioned the classblogmeister list before
                            here (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/classblogmeister/). There you
                            will hear from teachers whose students are blogging every day -
                            responsibly. They talk about technical aspects, safety issues, parent
                            involvement, and yes, even community. They are contributing to the
                            creation an incredibly rich - and safe - learning experience for
                            their kids.

                            I will start now putting together a response for the the day when a
                            person asks "What GOOD can a blog do?" It'll be a long response, and
                            many will join in. - Mark

                            Mark Ahlness
                            mahlness@...
                            http://ahlness.com
                            http://roomtwelve.com


                            --- In wwwedu@yahoogroups.com, Nancy Willard <nwillard@c...> wrote:
                            >
                            > > What harm can a blog do? <snip>
                            > >
                            > > Joshua
                            >
                            > What harm can a blog do. <sigh> Let me count the ways:
                            >
                            > But first, let me talk about the concept of contributory
                            negligence. The
                            > theory of contributory negligence allows a harmed party to sue a
                            person who
                            > has played a significant role in providing the opportunity for
                            another
                            > person to engage in negligence or intentional actions that have
                            caused harm.
                            >
                            > Now, who, I ask, is likely to have deeper pockets -- a kid and
                            his/her
                            > parents or a school district?
                            >
                            > And if you follow Ted's advice (sorry Ted) and encourage your
                            students to
                            > establish their own blogs on a third party commercial site and then
                            use
                            > these materials in the context of your instruction, then you also
                            ought to
                            > check your own liability policy.
                            >
                            > Sorry to be so dismal, but this is the reality of the situation.
                            >
                            > My current list of stuff to worry about includes:
                            >
                            > * Copyright infringement. (I should mention there is a doctrine of
                            > contributory copyright infringement that you should pay attention
                            to if you
                            > approve and post material provided by a student that infringes on
                            someone
                            > else's copyright.)
                            >
                            > * Defamation -- of another student, staff member, or someone out in
                            the
                            > community. (Student blog entry: "My dad says his boss, XYZ at ABC
                            company is
                            > embezzling company funds.)
                            >
                            > * Invasion of privacy -- of another student, staff member, member
                            of the
                            > student's one family, or someone else in the community. (Student
                            blog entry
                            > "My Dad came home from work drunk and beat up my mom.")
                            >
                            > * Bullying or harassment of another student.
                            >
                            > * Providing personal contact information or other personal
                            information about
                            > any student. (think FERPA)
                            >
                            > * Now I suppose students could also get into criminal activity on a
                            blog,
                            > such as: Making a threat, Posting child pornography (sexually
                            explicit
                            > picture of another student), Committing a hate crime.
                            >
                            > * Probably ought to add to the list use of obscene language, which
                            is not a
                            > legal concern but would be a school concern.
                            >
                            > * And let's not forget plagiarism, also not a legal concern, but a
                            school
                            > concern.
                            >
                            > * This is a long shot, but if a parent or someone else has shared a
                            > company's trade secrets and a student puts this information into a
                            blog,
                            > this is disclosure of trade secret information.
                            >
                            > * There are also many concerns about the ramifications of getting
                            into
                            > discussions about controversial subjects in public student blogs.
                            Here I am
                            > much more inclined to support teacher efforts to encourage students
                            to
                            > respectfully discuss controversial subjects. I think it is
                            important for
                            > students to be able to engage in effective persuasive writing,
                            learn to
                            > distinguish fact from opinion, and learn to express their views
                            about
                            > controversial issues in an effective manner -- which includes being
                            > respectful to those who hold different views.
                            >
                            > But teachers are going to have to be very realistic about the
                            possible
                            > perspective on this that might be held by school administration,
                            parents,
                            > and the local community.
                            >
                            > Recognize that when you have established a public student blog
                            everything
                            > posted in that blog is: PUBLIC AND PERMANENT AND AVAILABLE TO
                            ANYONE IN THE
                            > COMMUNITY!!!
                            >
                            > (I am working on student curriculum around cyberbullying and
                            cyberthreats
                            > and I have a statement in the section on privacy that
                            reads: "Everything you
                            > put into electronic form is permanent, is or can be made public,
                            and is
                            > easily transmittable to anyone, anywhere in the world." Should I
                            have to
                            > remind educators of this point also?)
                            >
                            > EVERYTHING that you do as a teacher within the context of this blog
                            will be
                            > totally and fully open to public view. Now, I happen to think this
                            is not a
                            > totally bad thing. But make sure you personally are ready for this.
                            Do you
                            > want to provide a window into the happenings in your class to the
                            world?
                            >
                            > Recognize that any parent or community member can download a copy
                            of your
                            > class blog and trot down to the board meeting or the newspaper if
                            they
                            > happen to take issue with anything you have posted or have allowed
                            your
                            > students to post in this public forum.
                            >
                            > Any discussions about sexual issues are likely to result in an
                            uproar. This
                            > includes sexual orientation issues, abortion, safe sex,
                            abstinence, ...
                            > Ditto for any issue related to religion: intelligent design, role of
                            > religion in government, ...
                            >
                            > So, let's steer into safer waters. How about a discussion of Bush's
                            speech
                            > on Iraq? Hmm. What conservative activist is going to be trotting
                            down to the
                            > school board with your student's blog in hand complaining that you
                            are
                            > brainwashing students into disrespect for their commander in chief?
                            Or what
                            > liberal activist is going to be ...
                            >
                            > Are you beginning to get the point?
                            >
                            > Maybe there are some distinct advantages to the fact that you are
                            able to
                            > quietly close your class room door and communicate with your
                            students in a
                            > more private, unrecorded setting.
                            >
                            > Now think like an administrator. Are you going to trust that every
                            teacher
                            > will be able to safely and effectively handle these kinds of
                            situations in
                            > such as way as to keep students safe and keep the district out of
                            trouble?
                            > Would you trust that every teacher in your district would be able
                            to do
                            > this???
                            >
                            >
                            > Now, you have to understand that I really do not like throwing cold
                            water in
                            > the faces of tech enthusiasts. But I am really trying to keep you
                            folks out
                            > of hot water. (It is really dismal and rainy here in Oregon, so
                            sorry for
                            > all of the water references -- just seemed appropriate.)
                            >
                            > If we are not *really careful* in figuring all of this stuff out
                            and doing
                            > this correctly, what is going to result is some major flak and a
                            door thrown
                            > very tight against any of this kind of activity. So take advantage
                            of the
                            > fact that I am generally on your side and I am the one pointing out
                            the
                            > concerns.
                            >
                            > (And just to save me from having to respond to folks who
                            respectfully
                            > request permission to forward my messages. ;-) I fully recognize
                            that my
                            > messages posted to this discussion group are public, permanent, and
                            easily
                            > disseminated. And I consider it perfectly appropriate to forward
                            this
                            > message to others.
                            >
                            >
                            > So, now, let's get to some problem solving. How can we safely engage
                            > students in blogging in a way that will effectively and proactively
                            address
                            > these kinds of concerns?
                            >
                            > Some questions:
                            >
                            > Is it really necessary to have public classroom blogs to take
                            advantage of
                            > this technology to encourage students to communicate? There may be
                            some
                            > distinct advantages to using some form of an intranet for blogging.
                            > Although, recognize that any student can take anything posted on an
                            intranet
                            > and sent it to anyone else. So an intranet would provide some
                            privacy, but
                            > not total privacy.
                            >
                            > What degree of control is necessary for the teacher to have in
                            approving the
                            > posting of any student submission?
                            >
                            > What policy provisions are necessary?
                            >
                            > What education and notice is necessary for students?
                            >
                            > What education and notice is necessary for teachers?
                            >
                            > A long time ago I recommended that districts/schools set up a
                            complaint
                            > system on their web pages if they are allowing any student postings
                            on a
                            > school-associated web site. This complaint process would allow
                            other people
                            > to file a complaint about any material that is perceived to be a
                            copyright
                            > violation or present any other concerns. Maybe it is time to pull
                            out this
                            > recommendation (that no one ever followed).
                            >
                            > Other thoughts?
                            >
                            > Nancy
                            >
                            > --
                            > Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
                            > Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use
                            > http://cyberbully.org
                            > http://csriu.org
                            > nwillard@c...
                            >
                          • Jeff Cooper
                            Don t get me wrong... I want students to be safe on the Net. However, it seems to me that the policies of school districts borders on the paranoid regarding
                            Message 13 of 20 , Dec 4, 2005
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                              Don't get me wrong... I want students to be safe on the Net. However,
                              it seems to me that the policies of school districts borders on the
                              paranoid regarding how to use the Internet. Indeed, the fear that
                              "something may go wrong" has led to policies that have a tremendous
                              chilling effect on using the Net in K-12 classes.

                              It was mentioned in an earlier thread that at least one school
                              district is actually considering banning students from having their
                              own blogs created on their own time from home. Did these district
                              officials consider that they will be sued for impinging upon freedom
                              of speech, or have they forgotten about the Constitution?

                              Federally mandated filtering keeps many good sites out, and does stop
                              *most* (but not all) of the "bad" sites. I helped with legislation
                              that forbids porn sites from buying lapsed educational (i.e. kid
                              visited domains). Congress balked at going the full nine yards with
                              my recommendation that all porn sites have an .xxx or .sex domain (to
                              facilitate filtering... again... they feared the "freedom of speech"
                              backlash).

                              Filtering isn't 100% effective though. For example, although it stops
                              students from going to Tapped In, a safe and secure site for educators
                              and K-12 students) for chat (in my local district), there are other
                              sites that don't use port 8000 where students may chat without any
                              monitoring. Because filters are in place, students don't feel
                              responsible for their own surfing, thinking that it *isn't their
                              responsibility* to practice safe net techniques. This is what
                              educational paranoia has wrought.

                              Unless and until students (and parents) bear a brunt of the
                              responsibility for safe surfing (at both home *and* school), we will
                              continue a reactionary policy regarding Internet usage akin to our
                              "Wars on Drugs and Terrorism."

                              Regards,

                              Jeff Cooper
                              Education Technology Support Consultant
                              Tapped In Helpdesk
                              jbcoops@...

                              p.s. I am resending this since it apparently was not posted yesterday
                              (perhaps because I forgot to add my signature)? I am not sure why
                              else this would not have shown up.
                            • Linda Ullah
                              Jeff, You ve raised great points here AND thank you for helping to form legislation to ban porn sites from buying lapsed educational domains. Like you, I
                              Message 14 of 20 , Dec 4, 2005
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                                Jeff,

                                You've raised great points here AND thank you for helping to form
                                legislation to ban porn sites from buying lapsed educational domains.
                                Like you, I totally want to see all students be safe on the Internet,
                                but I don't want to see educationally viable resources blocked and
                                filtered. Unfortunately, we live in a paranoid society these days for
                                a variety of reasons.

                                First, let me assert, that I firmly believe that all educators who work
                                with children need to be "in charge" of guiding and supervising
                                students on the Internet in their schools. This means, besides just
                                supervision, they need to proactively help their students become aware
                                of the moral, ethical and legal ramifications involved with Internet
                                (and other technology) use. To me this means that all workshops and
                                courses designed to teach teachers to integrate technology into their
                                classrooms should have an ethics and cyberlaw component. There are
                                great resources available on the Internet for this. I've found that
                                many teachers are completely unaware of the Digital Millennium
                                Copyright Act and/or are totally unaware of where their students can
                                and do go on the Internet. Also, as educators we are role models for
                                our students. If we, knowingly or even unknowingly violate copyright
                                law, or use technology in ways that may be ethically wrong, we are
                                telling our students that this is okay to do. To be honest, I've been
                                guilty of unknowingly violating copyright law, perhaps because I felt
                                that what I was doing was justified because I needed educational
                                resources and materials for my students. Just like the teachers I now
                                work with, I've had some amazing "aha" experiences as I've learned more
                                about this.

                                Next, Jeff, I need to tell you all of an experience I had a couple of
                                years ago dealing with a defunct link I had in an archived student
                                project site that was taken over by a porn site. I am so relieved to
                                know that this can't happen again. I was so angry at the time, and
                                have remained angry, but not sure what to do. My students, when I was
                                still in the elementary classroom, did a project called the Mars
                                Virtual Olympics. It tied the Nagano Olympics with the NASA Mars
                                Exploration (Social Studies/Science thematic project--I've always been
                                a bit outside the box.) It was a great project and we used an
                                educational site hosted by IBM called the Olympic Cyber Village (that
                                I'd worked with a team of educators brought together by West Ed). It
                                was a great site for kids. A couple of years ago, I was teaching a
                                group of teachers and used this project as an example. There I was
                                with the site projected for all these teachers and I clicked on the
                                Olympic Cyber Village site. Up popped up a porn site. I attempted to
                                close it down, and up popped another porn site. (Keep in mind I'm
                                using the district lab in my former school district, and the Mars
                                Virtual Olympics site is on a server hosted by a teacher in one of the
                                middle schools in that district.. The story of that server is a long
                                one--but it was granted district blessing to exist)... Obviously, the
                                lesson turned from "let's take a look at some sample projects" to "what
                                do you do when this happens in your classroom." ...and of course the
                                seething anger that some sick person (or people) were preying on former
                                educational domain names.

                                I no longer remembered my user name and password for the server, I
                                knew the district had had a lot of angst allowing this server to exist,
                                and I knew I no longer worked in the district and my archived projects
                                should probably be deleted from the server, but I didn't want that to
                                happen... so I contacted the person in charge of that server and
                                confessed.. begged to keep my projects on the server, and got a
                                password and username assigned so I could remove the offending link.
                                I inquired around trying to find out who to contact. I wish I knew,
                                Jeff, that you might have known that answer.. So again, thank you.

                                I wonder if others of you have had similar experiences. I'd also be
                                interested in knowing how others of you teach educators about Internet
                                ethics and cyberlaw. I'm in the process of developing a short course
                                on this, and would love to know of any resources you've used. I'm
                                not a lawyer, and I don't pretend to be an expert on this topic, but
                                I'm planning to include this course as part of a certificate program we
                                are developing.

                                Linda Ullah
                                Teacher in Residence
                                Foothill College Krause Center for Innovation
                                http://www.foothill.edu/kci
                                ullahlinda@..., lullah@...


                                On Dec 4, 2005, at 9:04 AM, Jeff Cooper wrote:

                                > Don't get me wrong... I want students to be safe on the Net. However,
                                > it seems to me that the policies of school districts borders on the
                                > paranoid regarding how to use the Internet. Indeed, the fear that
                                > "something may go wrong" has led to policies that have a tremendous
                                > chilling effect on using the Net in K-12 classes.
                                >
                                > It was mentioned in an earlier thread that at least one school
                                > district is actually considering banning students from having their
                                > own blogs created on their own time from home. Did these district
                                > officials consider that they will be sued for impinging upon freedom
                                > of speech, or have they forgotten about the Constitution?
                                >
                                > Federally mandated filtering keeps many good sites out, and does stop
                                > *most* (but not all) of the "bad" sites. I helped with legislation
                                > that forbids porn sites from buying lapsed educational (i.e. kid
                                > visited domains). Congress balked at going the full nine yards with
                                > my recommendation that all porn sites have an .xxx or .sex domain (to
                                > facilitate filtering... again... they feared the "freedom of speech"
                                > backlash).
                                >
                                > Filtering isn't 100% effective though. For example, although it stops
                                > students from going to Tapped In, a safe and secure site for educators
                                > and K-12 students) for chat (in my local district), there are other
                                > sites that don't use port 8000 where students may chat without any
                                > monitoring. Because filters are in place, students don't feel
                                > responsible for their own surfing, thinking that it *isn't their
                                > responsibility* to practice safe net techniques. This is what
                                > educational paranoia has wrought.
                                >
                                > Unless and until students (and parents) bear a brunt of the
                                > responsibility for safe surfing (at both home *and* school), we will
                                > continue a reactionary policy regarding Internet usage akin to our
                                > "Wars on Drugs and Terrorism."
                                >
                                > Regards,
                                >
                                > Jeff Cooper
                                > Education Technology Support Consultant
                                > Tapped In Helpdesk
                                > jbcoops@...
                                >
                                > p.s. I am resending this since it apparently was not posted yesterday
                                > (perhaps because I forgot to add my signature)? I am not sure why
                                > else this would not have shown up.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group
                                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wwwedu
                                > http://www.edwebproject.org/wwwedu.html
                                >
                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                              • BBracey@aol.com
                                ... I had the same experience, I was at a conference presenting and had accessed the site earlier in the week. I used to be Technology director of the 21st
                                Message 15 of 20 , Dec 4, 2005
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  In a message dated 12/4/05 5:33:55 PM, lullah@... writes:


                                  >
                                  > I wonder if others of you have had similar experiences.  I'd also be
                                  > interested in knowing how others of you teach educators about Internet
                                  > ethics and cyberlaw.  I'm in the process of developing a short course
                                  > on this, and would love to know of  any resources you've used.   I'm
                                  > not a lawyer, and I don't pretend to be an expert on this topic, but
                                  > I'm planning to include this course as part of a certificate program we
                                  > are developing.
                                  >
                                  >

                                  I had the same experience, I was at a conference presenting and had accessed
                                  the site earlier in the week. I used to be Technology director of the 21st
                                  Century Teacher Initiative, and the site was rich in resources, BUT, but..
                                  then popped up the porn site. I wrote extensively about it on the list and to
                                  people gathered here and there was some action taken, at least on that site.

                                  But I must admit to quietly tapdancing and saying to the gathered audience,
                                  this is what can happen to your kids, I didn't know that I could not easily get
                                  out of it, but some people working with me eased the pain of the porn, by
                                  explaining how to get out of it. Fortunately I don't blush as so you can notice,
                                  but it really shook me. I hope to never have this experience again.

                                  I thank the gathered people who rallied to my aid.. all the same, I don't
                                  think I ever want to have that experience again.

                                  Bonnie Bracey Sutton
                                  bbracey at aol com


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