As I’ve written about before, the fight about net neutrality is far from over. According to Robert Niles, editor of the Online Journalism Review of the Annenberg School of Communication at USC, “It’s up to Congress now to protect net neutrality.” He states that:
Today, the United States Justice Department came out against “Net Neutrality,” endorsing the concept of allowing telecom companies to decide which websites and online services it will allow its customers to access, and at what speeds. The U.S. Congress must respond swiftly, by enacting legislation to preserve net neutrality and protect the interests of small publishers and private citizens.
Niles’ post is definitely worth a thorough reading, as well as the Justice Department’s press release. I agree with Niles that the Internet has made possible
the explosion in people-powered media over the past decade, which was made possible by the unprecedented ability of individuals, anywhere, to publish to a global platform, on an equal footing with corporate media.
It’s funny that this story should rear its head again, considering some of the things I’ve been working on lately. First off, I spent three days at Purdue at the end of July, at the Ackerman Colloquium themed “Educating for Citizenship in Digital and Synthetic Worlds: Privacy, Protection, and Participation.” It’s funny though that we didn’t talk much about issues such as net neutrality though. A large part of the conversation seemed to revolve around the use of games for teaching social studies, which is something I’m not entirely convinced of (yet).
Secondly, I’ve spent the last three weeks or so working on an NSF-funded project called Thinking With Data, a project designed to teach middle school kids data literacy across the curriculum (see NSF, this newspaper article and this press release for more info). It’s an important project because, to quote Andee Rubin from TERC:
We use data every day—to choose medications or health practices, to decide on a place to live, or to make judgments about education policy and practice. The newspapers and TV news are full of data about nutrition, side effects of popular drugs, and polls for current elections. Surely there is valuable information here, but how do you judge the reliability of what you read, see, or hear? This is no trivial skill—and we are not preparing students to make these critical and subtle distinctions.
What I’ve learned from our project so far is that, on average, kids’ data literacy skills are not very strong, and having an Internet that is not “neutral” will make matters only worse when it comes to teach youngsters how to judge data for what it’s really worth.
Feels good to be back. I can’t believe I haven’t blogged in almost two months. I have been lurking off and on though, and while I did take some time off, I worked most of the summer. Not sure yet how I’m going to get caught up with all of my feeds. I’m planning to focus my writing in the coming year on a couple of topics that have been of great interest to me: learning while mobile/mobile learning, and citizenship education and digital tools.
Image Credit: http://www.savetheinternet.com