Here’s a great link/reference to cite the next time I am indirectly or directly in a conversation with someone about the dangers of the Internets for K-12 teachers: via boing boing, “School boards: The Internet is safe and we should use it more.” This discusses and links to some other discussions of a study from a group called the National School Board Association (which seems a tad on the conservative side, actually) that basically says that a lot of the things that have been cited over the years by schools for being afraid of the internet is bogus. Here is a link to a PDF version of the report, though I couldn’t find any direct/indirect mention of it on the NSBA web site. Here’s a quote of a quote from boing boing on all this:
In light of these findings, they’re recommending that school districts may want to “explore ways in which they could use social networking for educational purposes” â€” and reconsider some of their fears. It won’t be the first time educators have feared a new technology, the study warns. “Many schools initially banned or restricted Internet use, only to ease up when the educational value of the Internet became clear. The same is likely to be the case with social networking.
“Safety policies remain important, as does teaching students about online safety and responsible online expression â€” but student may learn these lesson better while they’re actually using social networking tools.”
A good thing for things like 516, and probably a link to send on to my colleagues in English Education.