Dealing with DOPAMay 11th, 2006 by infomancy
The blogosphere is abuzz today with discussions about DOPA – Deleting Online Predators Act – a bit of proposed legislation that sounds great on the surface but has some serious flaws upon closer investigation.
Andy Carvin, writing at his PBS-based learning.now blog, has an excellent review of the bill with quite a nice discussion taking place. Wesley Fryer from Moving at the Speed of Creativity also has some great points about digital immigrants banning what they don’t understand. Will Richardson, David Warlick and others are also looking at the original article from C-NET in disbelief. It goes without saying that any pressure you can bring to bear on elected officials is a good thing (and I hope it goes without saying that the pressure needed here is for a rational reconsideration and a drastic re-write of this proposal). Protecting children is good, but educating them is better.
Filter a website, and you protect a student for a day. Educate students about online safety in a real world environment, and you protect your child for a lifetime.
To clear away some of the negative energy I am feeling right now and channel it into positive thoughts, here is a much better way to approach the topic. Meredith Wolfwater at Information Wants To Be Free has an extensive exploration of the many ways that social networking software can enrich libraries. In a podcast I created for the ALA Library 2.0 course, I also explored some of the ways that social interaction could be used to move school research into a new, more connected environment. My suggestion, which I will be exploring in more depth in an upcoming post, involves making resources nodes on a social network. Imagine different Dewey numbers or subject headings as potential “friends” that students can add to their buddy list to receive updates…