by Mike Masnick
Wed, Aug 8th 2007 3:09pm
While Congress has been busy rushing through all sorts of legislation to try to ban social networks from school in the name of protecting the children, it seems that they never bothered to ask schools what they thought of the internet and social networks. Instead, as politicians are known to do, they simply took the sensational headlines about the supposed "threat" of social networks as if it must be true (or, at least, as if it were the perfect opportunity for some grandstanding). However, someone who prefers to remain anonymous has passed on the news that the National School Boards Association has put out a report noting that fears concerning students on the internet are greatly exaggerated and that social networks can be quite positive for children. In surveying students, they found that most students understand the message that they should be wary of strangers online (just as they should be when walking down the street). They know not to reveal too much and they know not to go meet strangers without permission. Sure, there will always be a few exceptions, but it's very rare. Based on this, the report says that it makes sense for schools to explore more constructive uses of social networks in educational settings, rather than worrying so much about locking them down. Of course, if some folks in Congress have their way, that won't be possible.
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