Bad anti-technology piece of legislation

    According to techLearning magazine, a magazine on technology
    integration in education, "Legislation has been introduced
    in Congress that would prohibit anyone under 18 from using
    school or library computers to access Web sites that create
    public "Web pages or profiles" and also offer a discussion
    board, chat room, or e-mail service."While I understand the idea behind protecting students from
    internet preditors, this legislation will also prevent good
    learning from occurring. I currently use an online
    discussion board in my classroom to extend class discussion
    on literature and topics, as well as for authentic writing
    opportunities. Under this new legislation, I would no longer
    be able to use such a great tool.

    Online discussion boards not only provide a safe place for
    students to get help on assignments, but it also allows
    students who aren't normally heard in the classroom to be
    heard equally. I have researched this topic greatly as I
    plan to complete my dissertation on this topic. I truly feel
    that using these boards in my class has given my students a
    new confidence in their ideas and boosted their
    understanding of what we read. (See more of my research

    More and more schools are using blogs and discussion boards
    to further student reading comprehension and writing skills.
    If we block these tools because some students misuse them
    when they are unsupervised, then we ruin a potentially
    helpful tool in education. Maybe what we need instead is
    teachers trained in how to supervise teachers on the computer.

    Please encourage your state and city representatives to vote
    against this piece of legislation.

    Raven Oak
    7th grade ELA teacher