Infomancy n. 1.The field of magic related to the conjuring of information from the chaos of the universe. 2.The collection of terms, queries, and actions related to the retrieval of information from arcane sources.

Dealing with DOPA

May 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…

6 Responses to “Dealing with DOPA”

  1. Liz Says:

    I have the outlined points of “the suburban agenda” (of which this is the first pop) here:

    http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2006/05/quick_call_your.html

  2. DAVID WARLICK Says:

    CHRIS,

    IS THE QUOTE STARTING WITH “FILTER A WEB SITE…” YOURS. I WANT TO USE THAT. I WOULD MAKE A GREAT SLOGAN ARROUND WHICH TO PROMOTE COMMUNITY LEARNING.

    – DAVE –

  3. Christopher Harris Says:

    Dave,

    Yes, that is mine, and feel free to use it as desired =) I have been trying to push the education aspect of MySpace. You might also be interested in my op-ed piece this month in School Library Journal – http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6330760.html

    Drop me a line next time you are in the NY area…
    Chris

  4. Christopher Harris Says:

    Readers,

    The link above from Liz leads to an incredibly thorough review of writings on DOPA. That is a blog I will be keeping a closer eye on for sure! Thanks for sharing and introducing me to your writing, Liz!

  5. Wanderings... : MySapce & DOPA Says:

    [...] quarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2006/5/11/doin-something-about-dopa.html”>Doug Johnson
    ; and “>Christopher Harris
    Christopher [...]

  6. » Put oh so simply Teacher friendly tech! Says:

    [...] Harris that puts so simply what we’ve been discussing both on and off-line. In his post on Dealing with DOPA he says: “Filter a website, and you protect a student for a day. Educate students about [...]