But, needless to say, many adults aren't warming to this new digital world. This paragraph in particular caught my eye:
Last week, Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta, N.J., announced that students who posted on MySpace.com or similar sites faced possible suspension from school, citing concerns that students were unwittingly revealing too much information about themselves to potential cyberpredators.Wait a minute---they're going to get suspended for blogging? On their own time? I can understand if the school wants to limit or prohibit things like that during school hours, but can they really reach that far into a student's home life? Sure, the scholastic arm can extend past school grounds when it comes to illegal behavior (like benching students from extracurricular activities if they're caught drinking, even off-campus), but the last time I checked, blogging was legal. They've overstepped their bounds on this one.
(It should go without saying that I don't necessarily agree with even an on-campus blogging ban; heck, I used to update The Musings whenever I was stuck at a school during a down period, until my district blocked access to Blogger last school year. If the student is finished with his or her work, there are plenty of idle-time activities that are worse than blogging; ask Dingus about his high-school classmate who used to download cartoon porn.)
Am I all wet here? Does anyone think this school is being reasonable? Rather than fear the new technology (which plenty of older folks don't understand themselves), use this situation as a teachable moment: Tell the kids that they can blog all they want to, but use common sense--don't put your address or phone number on the Web, and maybe not even your last name. And remind them that anything they write does in fact go out over the World Wide Web, so one might want to use discretion when, say, writing bad things about people by name.
Besides, the online revolution is here to stay; it's not like the genie can be put back in the bottle. As the article notes,
[T]he Pew survey seems to suggest that the concern over the dangers of adolescent activity online - while perhaps well placed - is a mere cul-de-sac in a larger landscape where a new generation, armed to the teeth with digital sophistication, is redefining media on its own terms.They sure are, and count me in as one adult who's very enthusiastic about all this stuff...not to mention a little jealous that it wasn't around when I was a kid.
(Hat tip: Althouse, who received some good comments to her own post on the subject.)
The ministry of silly animal names: Monty Python's John Cleese was the recipient of an unusual honor, as a new species of lemur was recently named after him.