Tuesday, August 01, 2006

DOPA Thoughts

From some very smart people:

Clarence Fisher writes:
"It is all about the connections that are possible. We read the words written by each other. We see the pictures of each other's lives. We hear the voices, the concerns, the stories told by people in another time, in another place we never had known before. Will American kids be closed off by the DOPA legislation currently in the works? What will this mean for Canadian kids? How will we understand our neighbours? How will they be able to understand us?"

"Blogging and other social networks have the possibility to change the landscape of possible networks of understanding for our kids, and open our classrooms to voices from around the globe in ways that simply was not possible a few years ago. But closing off these doors to the world could have drastic consequences for a generation of kids who need to understand the world like never before. As I've often said, kids will be doing these things anyway, would we not rather that they use these tools and learn these skills with our guidance instead of without it? It seems to be like the debates that used to rage about sex education. Study after study showed that giving kids information made them safer and more responsible, not more promiscuous. I am certain that studies of blogging will over time show that teaching kids to use these tools in school in ways that are safe and responsible will lead to safer behaviours online."

"School starts for me in September. I plan on opening my classroom more and more to the world. I plan on driving kids to make connections, to form networks, to insist that they spend time with people from other nations and other cultures. I hope you are there with me."

Dave Cormier:
"In the span of a couple of weeks the educational landscape we’ve all come to know and care about has taken an awful beating. It seems that DOPA is taking away our open ed-web and blackweb is taking away our walled gardens. For DOPA discussions check out will richardsonHarold Jarche and the post on the moodle forums (sign in required… but if you’re not signed up, sign up now, the more the merrier) The important thing to draw from that discussion is that Blackweb has already filed for patent infringement (desire2learn).

"So here’s the thing. Individually we’re just a bunch of bloggers/educators/interested folks looking at a bunch of rapid fire legislation and going… wait. you can’t do this. What we really need is some kind of united response… we need to react in a way that is focused. We need to gather the experience and intelligence of the community and decide what needs to be done."

Tim Stahmer:
"After reading and thinking some more about the recently passed DOPA, I’ve decided there’s really nothing new here, certainly not for the current administration. After all they pass laws on science policy without talking to scientists. Why shouldn’t they pass laws on education without talking to educators? Who needs experts when you have 535 Congress critters and a president who know everything about everything?"

Will Richardson:
"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."

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