Saturday, July 11, 2009

Harvard doctoral student argues against filters, for complete Internet ethics education

Justin Reich, a doctoral student at Harvard University School of Education, has an interesting op-ed in the July 11 Washington Post, “In Schools, a Firewall that Works too Well.” Reich argues that Internet filters in schools keep out valuable material and that students and teachers alike become cynical in trying to get around them. He says that there is no substitute for a complete program of Internet and technology citizenship education in the schools, including all topics like copyright and reputation, as well the more “obvious” problems about pornography or supposed “adult” or “harmful to minors” content.

He does point out the downside of the Children's Internet Protection Act of 2000, under which "any school or library that uses federal funds to buy computers is required to install Internet filters." This is old hat now.

The link for the op-ed is here. Reuch is co-director of Ed Tech Teacher, here.

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