Earlier today I posted a blog entry at learning.now providing an overview of the new legislation known as the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA). If enacted into law, DOPA would effectively ban access by students to online communities using school or library computers. The bill is intended to block access to sites like MySpace, which 99% of the time don't have an appropriate place in the classroom. But the bill is written so broadly that it would require schools to filter almost all online communities and interactive discussions, effectively rendering Web 2.0 impotent as far as the classroom is concerned. My story even got picked up by BoingBoing (thanks, Cory!).
We've just started a discussion on the blog, and I'd encourage you to participate. Ironically, it's discussions like this that could be theoretically blocked by the legislation. Thankfully both of my blogs are hosted noncommercially, and there is a loophole for noncommercial services. But what about all the educators and students who've used commercial tools like Flickr or Blogger? Have the nascent days of Web 2.0 been nipped in the bud as far as schools and libraries are concerned? Will the promise of online constructivist learning be wiped out with the swish of a presidential pen? -andy