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learning.now: at the crossroads of Internet culture & education with host Andy Carvin

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People archive

January092009

What Role Should Teachers Play in Policing the Net?

A drama unfolded on the messaging service Twitter last week after a bipolar woman posted a note that she intended as a joke, but was perceived by some people as a threat against her child. Soon, police were at her...

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December052008

Lori Drew Convicted in Megan Meier Case

Last week, a jury in California convicted Lori Drew on misdemeanor charges related to the Megan Meier suicide case. Though public sentiment wanted to see her convicted specifically on Drew cyberbullying Meier into committing suicide, in the end she was...

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November242008

Case Closed for Julie Amero

Julie Amero, the substitute teacher subjected to a judicial roller coaster ride over whether she intentionally exposed a group of students to inappropriate computer images, ended her legal limbo by agreeing to a plea deal this Friday. It’s the end...

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August082008

Internet Orgs Weigh in on Lori Drew Prosecution

In an interesting legal twist to the Megan Meier saga, a group of high-powered Internet law advocates have published a brief in relation to the case against Lori Drew, the woman being prosecuted in the wake of Meier’s suicide. In...

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July112008

No Resolution Yet for Julie Amero

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about Julie Amero, the substitute teacher whose conviction on child endangerment charges was set aside after computer experts demonstrated that spyware caused her PC to display adult images in a classroom. Thirteen months...

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May152008

Indictments Handed Down in the Megan Meier Case

This afternoon, a federal grand jury indicted Lori Drew, the woman at the heart of the Megan Meier tragedy. The indictment is a major turning point in the cyberbullying suicide case that shocked the nation....

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April022008

Strengthening Student Resilience to Online Risks

A new report commissioned by the British prime minister tackles the thorny challenge of addressing online safety for young people. The report urges people to put the relative threat of online predators in perspective, while at the same time noting...

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March282008

Students Produce Podcasts Addressing Global Challenges

A teacher at a private school in the San Francisco Bay area is inspiring students to become more civically engaged by having them produce podcasts about global policy challenges. The podcasts tackle international issues from a local perspective, and are...

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March192008

Student Dodges Expulsion Over Facebook Study Group

A Canadian student learned yesterday that he won’t be expelled after all. What egregious crime did he commit on campus? He coordinated an online study group using Facebook....

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January302008

Ron Paul and Hillary Clinton on Education and Technology Policy

As part of my ongoing series covering the positions of the presidential candidates regarding education and technology, I wanted to share some of my latest policy discoveries, this time coming from Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY)....

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January252008

Teach and Ye Shall Receive

There’s nothing worse than the flu to ruin a perfectly good week, and that’s been the story of my life for the last few days. But a couple of days ago I got a note linking to a single photo...

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January182008

Alan Alda: the Play’s the Thing

At an event held at the University of Southern California, actor and Scientific American Frontiers host Alan Alda spoke to students about the relationships between the arts, science and communication. He probably didn’t realize it, but he also managed to...

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January112008

Web 2.0 and Education: Hot or Not?

Andrew Keen’s polemic on Web 2.0 culture, The Cult of the Amateur, has been riling the social media community for months now. It was probably just a matter of time before it came up in a big way within the...

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December182007

Collaborative Writing, 140 Characters at a Time

A teacher in suburban Washington DC has launched a collaborative writing initiative using the messaging tool Twitter. Prepare to be concise!...

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December122007

More than Just Blogging: the 2007 EduBlog Awards

It’s that time of year again - the winners of the annual Edublog Awards have been announced. And despite the name having the word “blog” in it, the awards cover a whole range of educational projects, including wikis, social networks...

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November272007

Discussing Edtech and the Digital Divide with Barack Obama and John Edwards - Sort Of

I’ve been hoping to ask the U.S. presidential candidates some questions about education technology and the digital divide, but my access to them is, shall we say, limited. So I suggested some of my more pressing questions to tech blogger...

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November202007

Megan’s Tragedy

This week marks the fifth year that educator Bill Belsey has organized Bullying Awareness Week. And its timing couldn’t be more ironic, given the horrifying story that emerging of a Missouri teen who killed herself after being bullied on MySpace...

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November162007

One Story, 50 Tools, Infinite Possibilities

Educator Alan Levine has proven the adage that there’s more than one side to every story by demonstrating 50 multimedia techniques to present the same tale. The result is an extraordinary collection of online creativity tools, with demonstrations of how...

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August102007

Web 2.0: What’s in a Name?

In late July, edtech pioneer and author David Warlick posted a short blog entry about an interaction he had with a group of educators unfamiliar with the term “Web 2.0.” His post erupted into an all-out smackdown between edubloggers trying...

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August032007

The Return of the Original Edublogger

There’s a new blogger in town, but he’s an old friend to educators who have been online since the early days of edtech. Please welcome Louis Schmier to the blogosphere....

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July102007

Court Rules Against Student Suspended Over Threatening Instant Messaging Avatar

In the wake of the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” ruling at the U.S. Supreme Court late last month, it was probably just a matter of time before we’d see another student free space case using it as precedent. I might...

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July022007

Video: Democratic Presidential Candidates Discuss the Digital Divide

Over the weekend I edited together some video I shot at the PBS Democratic candidate presidential debate on June 28, 2007. The video features candidates Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel offering some thoughts on how they...

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June292007

Ask a Presidential Candidate

Last night, PBS hosted a debate among the Democratic candidates running for president. After the event, I had a chance to speak with four of the candidates about their perceptions about the digital divide and the role schools might play...

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June252007

Supreme Court Rules Against Student in “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” Case

In the first major Supreme Court decision on student free speech in almost a generation, the Court ruled against a student who was suspended for displaying a banner with drug-related messaging just off the school campus. What does the ruling...

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June182007

New Initiative Seeks to Educate Teachers About Online Security

In the wake of the Julie Amero legal battle, a group of technology experts and teachers is pulling together an initiative to improve the Internet security skills of teachers and administrators....

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June122007

How Not to Use MySpace in the Classroom

Just when you thought you could avoid yet another educational controversy breaking out on MySpace, a teacher in suburban Washington DC is finding herself in hot water for comments she wrote on her MySpace blog, and the online discussion with...

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June062007

Julie Amero Granted New Trial

This morning, a Connecticut judge granted substitute teacher Julie Amero a new trial. She’ll now have a chance to present evidence that she accidentally exposed students to online porn due to malware....

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June012007

Olivia’s Letters

News coverage about a middle school student victimized by online and offline bullying has prompted a grassroots solidarity campaign. She’s received over 1,400 letters of support so far, and it’s serving as a teachable moment that no school should ignore....

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May292007

When Students Become Accidental Celebrities, What Next?

Every teacher and parent should read the article in today’s Washington Post about the California high school student who’s become an online celebrity, from MySpace to YouTube. Who she is and how she got in this predicament, however, probably isn’t...

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May232007

D-Day for Julie Amero

Last week, the Connecticut substitute teacher convicted of exposing students to porn was supposed to find out her sentence. Yet once again, her sentencing has been delayed - until D-Day, of all days - and even the press is beginning...

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May162007

Could Wikis Help Achieve Consensus on Edtech Policy?

If you had the opportunity to help craft federal education technology legislation, would you participate? The idea isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds, as politicians are beginning to explore wikis as a tool for collaborative policymaking. And educators could become...

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May092007

Avast Ye Knee-Jerk Reactions, Matey!

A pre-service teacher has been denied obtaining her teaching degree because her MySpace profile featured a photo of her with an alcoholic beverage in hand, including the caption “Drunken Pirate.” Pirate or not, she’s suing the university, and generating a...

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April102007

Wikipedia’s New Competition: Citizendium

Move over Wikipedia, now for something meatier! Or at least that’s the idea behind Citizendium, a new wiki created by the co-founder of Wikipedia, who hopes the online community will use it to build an online encyclopedia without as many...

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March272007

March 30: Participate in Stop Cyberbullying Day

This Friday - March 30th - has been declared Stop Cyberbullying Day - by me. I’m hoping to get as many people, bloggers and nonbloggers alike, talking about cyberbullying, because it’s spinning out of control. Just ask blogger Kathy Sierra....

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March152007

Discussing Media Literacy With Dan Rather

At the South By Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas this week, I had a chance to spend some time with former CBS News anchor Dan Rather. And somehow we ended up talking about media literacy in schools....

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February232007

Amanda’s Story

I’d like to introduce you to Amanda Baggs. She’s a prolific blogger, an avid user of the virtual reality world Second Life, and a popular video blogger on YouTube. She also happens to be severely autistic, and she’ll change the...

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February212007

The Julie Amero in All of Us

Mainstream media has finally started covering the case of Julie Amero, the substitute teacher who was found guilty of child endangerment because some of her students saw adult-oriented popup ads on her computer screen. And the news coverage is causing...

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February092007

Media Literacy as a Family Value

Right now I’m at an annual gathering of news executives and Web 2.0 activists in Miami, listening to speaker after speaker talking about the ever-changing media landscape. Even with all of these luminaries extolling the Internet on the conference stage,...

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February052007

More Details Emerge in the Julie Amero Case

Ever since substitute teacher Julie Amero was convicted last month of exposing her students to pornography on her classroom computer, bloggers have been debating who’s to blame, with most siding with her. Now, a published interview with a tech consultant...

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January192007

Bloggers Back Teacher Convicted on Questionable Porn Charges

The blogosphere is rallying in support of a substitute teacher who was convicted on porn charges despite evidence suggesting she was a victim of malicious computer software and a lack of technical safeguards on the part of the school....

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January162007

Teacher Faces 40-Year Prison Sentence Because of Filtering Folly?

In a case that’s receiving scant national attention, a substitute teacher has been convicted of exposing students to online pornography, which she claims appeared on the screen due to spyware. Is this merely the case of a rogue educator, or...

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January032007

Educational Blogging: Avoiding the Usual Suspects Syndrome

There’s been a fascinating conversation unfolding online over the last few days about the role of blogging in building communities of educators. The discussion raises an important question: does the advent of all-star bloggers in education help, or hinder a...

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December182006

Time Magazine’s Contrasting Cover Stories

In case you haven’t heard the news, you’ve been selected as Time Magazine’s person of the year. Yes, you, over there, by the computer monitor - you know who I’m talking to. But according to a cover story the previous...

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