I think it's a good idea. I also think some comments are missing two key factors:
a) the subject is journalism.
b) the Klout score is only a fraction of the grade.
Look at modern journalism - how many journalists function well in their role without a plethora of social media? Not just for socializing, but for putting out some of their work (albeit in link form), garnering interest, communicating with regular readers and garnering new ones - all well recognized uses for social media in business here on Techdirt! The Klout score projects sound like they are designed to focus students on using social media in this manner, instead of solely with a social focus.
Secondly, a key aspect of journalism is not only getting your work to the public, but gathering resources. Human resources are mainly collected through networking. Developing social media skills, and online networking, is a valuable skill for journalism students, surely? I would likely feel different if the course was calculus.
Finally, as someone else pointed out, this develops their writing skills - not the traditional skills they are already learning in class, and have spent several years through out primary and secondary school developing, but a specific skill-set used online. It is quite a different task to write a compelling argument in 2000 words as opposed to writing an interesting or informative statement in under 160 characters.
These are all skills that they will need in their profession. Academia is often faulted for being too esoteric - at least these two professors are focusing on real-world skills that will assist these students in the workforce. And there is no indication they are doing it at the expense of traditional core subjects for the unit.
Speaking from experience, if there is one group of people who care less about copyright, I don't know them. Teachers share - education is based on that concept. Schools simply don't have the funds to exist in a copyrighted world. If it isn't fair use, most of us don't care. As far as I'm concerned, my students education comes first.
Ditto. I've been playing (and replaying) Diablo II for years - and now have my daughter hooked on it too. We may eventually by DIII, but the server lag in multiplayer on DII is discouraging. So no real incentive to want to buy a game that will bug the hell out of me.
Heh. Ironically, I misread the original comment "The judge goes onto to make his own interpretation of Rule 4" as "The judge goes onto to make his own interpretation of Rule 34". On consideration, perhaps it is the more appropriate reading. :/
Does raiding someone's birthday party shows the full extent of their tactical capabilities? If I were them, I'd be concerned about that too!
I actually can see how the footage could be prejudicial - SWAT teams are aggressive by nature, otherwise they would have taken the civil approach and knocked on the door. Once you've got that many people, all on an adrenaline rush, trained to use force to neutralise a target... of course they didn't walk up to him and say "Excuse me, would you mind coming with us?"
However, it's only prejudicial because they took an overly aggressive stance with Dotcom in the first place. They would need to show reasonable grounds to believe that the measures they took were justified, IMHO. I really don't see how they had reason to hit him with that amount of force to begin with.
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Ditto. In my case, I'm a primary school teacher. I don't want my entire online experience to be carefully filtered to be PG, just in case my students google my name. My private life contains adult themes and occasional course language.
From the whole 'free equals bad' tone of the article, I suspect the question he asks his students isn't "How many of you pirate content?" but rather "How many of you download free shit off the internet?"
That may be true, but the old model you are referring to would be pre-1709. So now that the pendulum swung too far in the other direction for 300 years we declare that it is unethical and has failed.
It's not so much that the pendulum swung too far - it's that the grandfather clock was replaced with a digital one, and dad (the **AAs) took the pendulum out and went batshit crazy, swinging it at anyone and everything in sight.