On Sun, Mar 16, 2014 at 8:29 AM, Robert Hansen <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> On Mar 15, 2014, at 3:52 PM, kirby urner <kirby.urner@GMAIL.COM> wrote: > > > Remember my story of that police department, unhappy at being used as > "the bad guy" to scare students about the Internet, versus sharing it with > police as a playground, a place to explore without driving fast while > drinking and killing someone, which they get tired of seeing. Cyberia > should not be a place to wall off. > > But certainly we have to protect kids, no? What you are saying here > doesn't seem to jive at all with the real dangers of the internet. How > about the addiction aspect alone? Lol, not ours, we don't count because we > were fortunate enough that our formative years didn't have the internet in > them. But today, this is a huge and serious issue for students. And then of > course, the fraud and porn and other more serious elements. > > People aren't against the fantasy internet you speak of, but that isn't > how people are using the internet. > > Bob Hansen
I maybe should have said "Internet technology" because a given school may choose to remain insular vis-a-vis the Internet, or really tightly control that flow of traffic through a firewall + proxy +...
The police I mentioned (Hillsboro Experiment) when they set up their own access nodes in the projects, closer to the kids, deployed squid, a free open source blacklist / whitelist kind of filter.
But that probably wasn't so necessary as a room with a lot of keyboards / screens is not usually all that private. People are always looking over your shoulder and you have your reputation. These are ancient social patterns.
The wiring in some classrooms / control rooms allows the steering party or teacher-mixer to broadcast any student screen as the big screen up front, plus students are taught to routinely split their screens and work with each other in pairs (whether or not physically adjacent).
Diving into private reading materials at this time would be considered off track and attention-getting behavior, freaky creepy.
Peer pressure tends to work out these kinks and its only too oppressive if your freedom of access is severely curtailed by authorities at all times in all situations.
I'm not carrying a brief / defense of authoritarianism in my wallet. I'm more the Vienna Circle liberal who thinks kids should read Freud in 8th grade and discuss it. Watch the DVDs.
Anyway, that police experiment was some time ago and I think the fear factor has gone down since then. People are less in a tizzy about "Naptster" or whatever. Meanwhile, adults who've had free access in adulthood are insisting on maintaining that access in nursing homes.
I think all the "bad parts" you mention in Cyberia have their corresponding seamy side in non-virtual reality, and for a lot of teens, goofing off on the Internet, no matter how unsupervised, is less dangerous than unsupervised skateboarding under freeway viaducts amidst broken glass from empty bottles.
If the town has set aside property for relatively safe skateboard play, as Portland has in a few places, then fine. But on balance I'm happy to have the Internet keeping kids off the meaner streets (and train tracks) and learning about the seamy side of life through the Web, and through great novels (which you will find on the Internet too).