School blog ban could block Amazon, Yahoo
A bill aimed at keeping MySpace out of schools and libraries could well end up booting, Yahoo, and other major commercial websites off those computers as well. The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved the Deleting Online Predators Act in a 410-15 vote, with the goal of keeping kids from logging on to social networking sites.

But the bill, if passed into law by the Senate, could end up deleting vast swaths of the Internet, ZDNet reports. It turns out that the social-networking features the bill targets, like creating profiles and engaging in online discussions, would require the blocking of any number of websites that let their users interact with each other on the site. (For that matter, the Browser could well end up banned, since it dares to let you, gentle reader, comment on our posts. Thanks, Congress!)

It's not just Web businesses that are alarmed by the bill. On the Cool Cat Teacher Blog, schoolteacher Vicki Davis argues that the bill is misguided, and will result in the blocking of her blog, where she tries to educate other teachers about using blogs as educational tools, from schools.

What do you think? Will the blog ban help or hurt education?
Posted by Owen Thomas 10:38 AM 13 Comments comment | Add a Comment

It will help it. Schools have been banning programs such as AIM or even websites linked to entertainment. If the kid wants to visit a blog he/she can do it at home. They don't need to be addicted to Myspace and blog such sort of websites. C'mon why are we trying to encourage our kids to become mouse-potatoes. Let them learn traditionally in school rather than surfing online.
Posted By NJ : 10:36 AM  

Oh goody, the ivory tower opened its mouth again. I swear we need to fire them all and get people that don't have an ego the size of an African country.

Schools are none of the business of the federal government. They need to be handled at the state level, not the national level. However, I do think NJ has a good point -- if our schools were keeping our kids busy enough, this would never be an issue. Fix the schools, not the Internet in the schools.
Posted By Andi, Washington, DC : 11:03 AM  

That bill is another stupid-ass idea from the Republican side who, in their naivity, try to make the world better for their kind only to make it worse for everyone else. Heil Hitler and welcome to 1984 redux. So arrest me! Afterall, THIS is a blog.
Posted By Chuck Loch, Culver City, CA : 11:33 AM  

it sounds like sensorship and a violation of the First Amdendment
Posted By Tom Harding, Lynwood, Illinois : 11:52 AM  

It's ridiculous to think that the benefits of this bill will outweigh the disadvantages. Many of the additional sites that would not be blocked are directly aimed at improving education. Further, this measure fails to teach students that blogging is just another medium for discourse on any subject. Open discussion of this nature is beneficial to education and encourages kids to share their thoughts, not just regurgitate what they've been told.
Traditional learning should be updated in order to make the most available technology. Teachers should focus on montitoring time wasting on sites like MySpace (the same way they monitor passing notes or doodling in class), not look to Congress for potentially damaging limitations on something that will ulitmately benefit their educational objectives if utilized appropriately.
Posted By Jamie Long, Los Angeles, CA : 12:13 PM  

As a parent of two students, I'd prefer computers in schools to be used as tools for education, not entertainment. As a business manager, I'd prefer employees to learn a computer is a tool for work, not personal entertainment. We maintain a computer with internet for each person in our household (4). My kids have plenty of opportunity to search blogs or interact on their own time, and would be well served to have vast swaths of the internet blocked at the schools. As much as I personally enjoy The Browser, I doubt my children's education will suffer if they are unable to access it (or 99.9% of the internet)at the school.
Posted By Tim Newman, Floyds Knobs, Indiana : 12:16 PM  

Can't the government keep their hands off of anything? Ops - an election year. It is a school and parent responsibilty not the governments! It is much more dangerous to do many things that use these online tools.
Parents, talk to your kids and stay involved.
Government - stay out of so much of our lives.
Posted By Jonathan, Hartford, CT : 12:47 PM  

So, are we saying, "How dare teachers make the kids get off the internet and actually pay attention in class instead"?

Or did we forget that the role of the school is to teach and mould the future minds of the country, and not (as I suspect the blowhards pontificating on this story would lead you to believe) is that of a daycare where participants are coddled with chat lines, instant messaging parties, and a general free for all.

When did the quality of education in America, or indeed the content of that teaching include granting students unlimited access to pretty well anything they darn well like, including playing post-office during the school day on a computer that's supposed to be for teaching lessons and not for after-school extra curricular social activities like blogging and messaging.

Your kid has a home and as a parent it;s YOUR responsibility to babysit their playtimes and screen their playmates; not an underpaid teacher's job. Get the internet chatlines OUT of the schools... PERIOD. They have no place in a learning environment.
Posted By Scott . Ontario,CANADA : 12:48 PM  

ban blogging, it should not be a priority in schools for kids. learning should be.
Posted By walnut creek CA : 8:45 AM  

I believe banning schools from such web browsers is a rediculous idea. Whoever thought about it is a moron. These web browsers are useful tools for learning. It seems a better idea to put parental restrictions on certain sites that may be dangerous for young children rather than banning it altogether.
Posted By Phuong, Anaheim, CA : 1:13 PM  

I see that many commenters are not cognizant of the vast educational potential of the Internet. The Internet is a conduit of information and brings excitement and engagement to the classroom. In my classroom we never sit around and surf, nor do we goof off. The Internet is just one tool of a good teacher. A tool that is about to become vastly limited.
Posted By Vicki Davis, Camilla, Georgia : 1:49 PM  

For those of you out there that believe in the freedom of information you may want to concider beating the system. Why not just use a proxy service. Teachers can access the information that has been carelessly restricted. Some teachers are now forced to do this from home instead of work. There are many sites that I know of that allow you to proxy through. My personal favorite is as it's free and pretty nice.
Posted By Brett, Albany NY : 10:37 AM  

Well what I personally believe is that there is nothing wrong with myspace and that if they pay attention to school work, maybe during free time like lunch, kids should be allowed to get on it if they want. However, it should be monitered during school. But if it's not myspace, there will be other sites that kids will go on, and say and do whatever they want. Like proboards. So why block myspace?

- written by a myspace user.
Posted By Amber, Maryland. : 9:25 AM  

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