[LINK] ZDNet: 'NSW to censor student laptops'

Jan Whitaker jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Sat Oct 25 09:00:23 EST 2008

At 07:37 AM 25/10/2008, Roger Clarke wrote:
>The proposal has outraged long standing e-business consultant and
>civil rights advocate, Roger Clarke.
>"It would be bad enough of them creating a list of blocked sites, but
>the notion that they would only allow students access to that which
>has been approved is incredible," he told ZDNet.com.au today.
>"What credibility can a government organisation and educational
>bureaucracy have with the people they're trying to communicate with
>when the students, through all of their own devices and through
>friend's devices, have access to the world," he added.

I can imagine what you actually said, I would assume in much stronger 
terms. Outrageous doesn't come close to this.

I can understand the concern about some students being tempted to 
sell off the equipment. I reckon that is still going to happen, no 
matter what the DET managers do. But this idea of a total white list 
for information access is akin to sending a kid to the library and 
only letting them use the material on a single shelf of 'sanitized' 
books that this DET person or group have deemed to be acceptable for 
some mythical bland and 'safe' curriculum. When are these people 
going to start teaching REAL critical thinking and reading? When are 
they going to realise they have a duty to do so?

I truly feel sorry for the students and their parents in NSW who are 
being so badly treated by people who consider themselves 'educators'. 
Those in charge should be sacked for incompetence.

BTW, I don't understand the terminology used in the opening. What are 
'senior students'? What ages? Is it inclusive of year 7 through 12? 
Are they really saying that the year 12 students will be limited to 
the same information sources as 12 to 13 years old kids? Or are 
senior students the older ones and still being treated 6 year olds?


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
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~Madeline L'Engle, writer

Writing Lesson #54:
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