Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Senate bill aims to address web safety

I just read a great article from eSchool News Online and was thrilled to see a new view on social networking and communication in schools. I would like to share a few exerpts from the ISTE discussion of the new legislation. Hopefully, this will generate some good discussion:
On August 7, 2007 a new Senate bill requires schools receiving federal eRate funds to educate students about internet safety and block students' access to social-networking web sites or chat rooms unless supervised.

Under the bill, schools receiving telecommunications discounts would have to educate students about appropriate online behavior, such as how to interact properly with others on social-networking sites and in chat rooms, and how to recognize and respond to cyber bullying.

"We now see a bill that asks schools to take their proper role in teaching safe and responsible use of the internet, rather than trying to block emerging communication and social-networking systems with great potential for positively engaging students and improving learning," said Don Knezek, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education.

"One of a school's primary functions is to ensure safety and build responsible citizens, and trying to block every threatening activity that goes on in society is not a formula for effective education."

The complete story may be found at: http://www.eschoolnews.com//news/showStoryts.cfm?ArticleID=7298
Marcia Torgrude

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