Saturday, August 19, 2006

DOPA Dopes.

I stopped by my classroom today to prepare for a training session I am presenting at. I happened to click on the blog from last year's class, just to find out if anyone had written on it this summer. It turns out that the Central Office has blocked Blogger--most likely to comply with DOPA. So I am writing a letter to our government:

Dear Federal Government,

I want to thank you for your committment to our students. Without out your help, I don't believe we would be able to teach them life or academic skills while keeping them safe from everything that might harm them.
In fact, I don't know what I was thinking the last two years by allowing my students to blog about literature, politics, life, or school. You are right when you recognize the harm in using technology from their generation to reach them. Just look at some of the silly lines of reasoning or the horrendous grammar. If you hadn't put an end to such miserable writing through DOPA, my students migh actually continue to use this blogging technology to out improper reporting or to oust incumbant politicians.
Congressman Michael G. Fitzpatrick should run for president based on this one proposed bill. I mean, if we want to protect our country, he certainly is the one to do it. Just think, we could eliminate the threat of the terrorists by creating a bill that would block America haters. We'd call it BAHA (Blocking Amercia Haters Act). The bill would block our ability to read internet sites that bash the United States. In fact, it could go so far as to make countries like Iran or Venezuela "not exist." I mean, if we just block our ability to read about these countries, they don't really exist, do they?
Okay, that might be far fetched. But in reality, the use of blogs does not have a place in the classroom because online predators might get access to these students. It is better to remove the possibility than to teach our students how to avoid such predators. Isn't that what NCLB is all about? It only matters that you perform on a state test, not that you come to a full understanding of the material. We prefer the easiest solution.
Additionally, getting rid of access to blogs prevents students from writing using modern technology. Seriously, with all of the text speak that crops up in classroom writing, it is really best for the student that they don't write using online resources. It certainly will affect their ability to write clearly in the traditional classroom.
So thank you, Congress, for protecting our kids. And to think, you could have been focusing on saving our environment, funding education properly, or ensuring that all child molestors spend a minimum of 25 years in prison. But then again, you are about the safety of students, and that is why you are great.


At 7:50 PM , Blogger The Science Goddess said...

At least you had the chance. In my district, it's not the feds, but one guy in DIS who sets the filters on the nanny-ware who gets to decide what websites are allowed. It's ridiculous.

At 2:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just waiting for you to get quoted out of context, something like "Even respected edublogger Mr. McNamar says, the use of blogs does not have a place in the classroom because online predators might get access to these students.'" Just wait.

Last I checked, we could still get into blogger at my school, but I'm told even yahoo mail will be shut down. The not-so-bad side is that we're switching everything to, a school-safe site where kids can have blogs and regulared e-mail. I know, still censorship, but at least they can use the technology...sort of.

At 6:50 PM , Blogger Onyx said...

I'm standing and applauding you!

At 9:36 PM , Blogger Kristie Walker said...

At 7:59 AM , Blogger Maura Larkins said...

A minority of Americans don't trust young people to come to the right conclusions if they are allowed to think.

This minority has enormous power because it's always easy to destroy anything. It's much harder to create something. (Think of a sand castle, a World Trade Center building, a democracy.) As a result, public schools in general do not encourage young people to think.


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