Recently, the House of Representatives passed the DOPA Bill. What is DOPA you ask?
This bill effectively bans from schools and libraries any websites that allow users to create public web pages or profiles, chat rooms or e-mail, and is the centerpiece of a Republican effort called the “Suburban Agenda.” It is not completely clear if this ban would affect sites that are not social networking sites.
As Will Richardson writes today on his blog…
So the dopey House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed DOPA, and we’ve got to get our acts together to make sure Senators have more of a clue about what’s happening with technology out here in the “real” world. I wonder how many of them come even close to “getting” everything that’s shifting and changing, the way we are connecting, the learning that’s happening in social spaces, the fact that this bill takes away our ability to teach our students in meaningful, realistic ways not only how they can stay safe, but even more importantly, how they can learn, network, interact, and become continuous learners.
I’m really pissed at the media on a number of levels, first for they way they have sensationalized the whole MySpace issue into ratings by pumping up shows that “catch” online predators and stories that almost celebrate the ignorance of kids who aren’t being taught not to trust the people they meet online and to keep personal information private. They’ve preyed on the ignorance of the masses who really aren’t paying close attention and just scared them into thinking that there is danger at every turn, when in reality our kids are more at risk for sexual predation from their family members than online.
Just wanted to pass this along. It seems that it keeps getting harder and harder to convince people that education is the way to teaching our children how to use the Internet responsibly.