All through my US based links on my Learning Network, the feedback and disbelief is being realised as edublogger after edublogger posts about the successful passing of the US Government's DOPA (Deleting Online Predators Act). The first post I read on the issue came from Mark Ahlness, then I read Will Richardson, then Vicki Davis and Doug Noon. In a nutshell, DOPA means this:

It would require that, as a condition of receiving E-Rate support, all schools and libraries block access to social networking websites and chat rooms.

via David Warlick - July 25, 2006.

Just when educators involved in exploring the educational potential of social software apps and sites are gaining traction and mainstream teachers' interest and curiousity, this knocks things Stateside for six. How long before the Aussie powers that be, keen to emulate the Bush administration as much as possible seek to impose something like DOPA here? But wait, maybe, we don't need to - hardly anyone can get to any of those sites in a school anyway. Makes it kind of hard to teach socially responsible online behaviour when the windows to the outside world are blacked out.

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5 thoughts on “U.S.D.O.P.A

  1. Alex Hayes

    Hi Graham,

    I’ve added you to ‘site-of-interest’ list over at http://nswlearnscope.com

    Could you please redirect my link in your blogroll to my new location for my blog – http://alexanderhayesblog.blogspot.com

    I lost all faith in the FTP facility for Blogger ploughing things back into my server….too tricky.

    Till then.

    Later 🙂

    Ps. Hows it your way ? Some interesting things happening over at http://groups.google.com/group/NetworkedLearningRights

    Perhaps you have a moment to give your two cents worth.

  2. Queenannelace

    I think everyone is a little surprise by this legislation. You are absolutely correct in that how should be teach socially acceptable use of technology if we can’t use it with our students.

    Back in the fall in there was a child killed at a CD-release party that was advertised through mySpace. There were many editorials about mySpace and the tragedy that unfoled but folks failed to realized how schools could be used has instruments of social change by teachng students how to use the media responsiblly as well as the dangers that lurk out there.

    Yes, there are dangers out there on the Internet but like Drug Education, if you don’t talk about it, I feel more people become victimize by not having access to it to know the good from the bad.

    So much for global collaboration….

  3. Pingback:

    Learning with the Fang » Blog Archive » CELEBRATE! the DOPA meme

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