The Office for Intellectual Freedom is looking for a news intern! We’re soliciting applications for a paid part-time internship with the office for the 2016-2017 school year. The ideal […]
With each new week of the 2016 Presidential election, the competition has been getting more and more intense, and even the most civil candidates have begun slinging mud at each other. Riots from some candidate’s rallies have gotten ugly, with real life disputes finding their way to children’s classrooms. Even if children can’t vote, they are still being influenced by the political climate. This election is teaching one thing, hate is acceptable.
Letters to the Editor are more important than you might think. They show support for the librarians and teachers involved, they highlight the quality of the book and intellectual freedom, and most importantly they publicly show an individual’s willingness to stand up for the First Amendment and the right to read.
Last week marked the 31st Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, the world’s largest gathering of people who develop or use assistive technology and the only one to be hosted by a college–California State University, Northridge (CSUN). It is a critical source of inspiration and information for multiple handicapping conditions, but especially for the visually impaired or blind.
After compiling the list of the 2015 Top Ten Challenged Books, the staff at the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) noticed that once again, a high percentage of the titles fell into the category of “diverse content.” What do we mean by diversity?
One of the consistently controversial subjects in many cultures is sexuality and youth. To many, it invokes some disgusting subjects that I do not wish to think about, none-the-less write about. But, for teens themselves it is an important subject that they require access to truthful and honest information about. Some governments and parents feel as uncomfortable as I do about discussing these things, or may reduce the access to honest sexual education information that teens have in some ignorant desire to “protect.”
It is too early to really see the depth and repercussions of the now named “Panama Papers,” but it may be as influential to global economics as Snowden’s leak was to Western privacy. The Panama Papers are records obtained from an anonymous source concerning the Mossack Fonsecas company, an international company management organization. The company appears to be violating sanctions, promoting tax evasion, and laundering money for politicians, criminals, and many, many other wealthy people and organizations.
“If you accept — and I do — that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don’t say or like or want said.”–Neil Gaiman
Being part of a public school system, Ms. Vandersande’s school adheres to the Hawaii Department of Education’s computer use policy.
Beyond that, she does not have any additional Internet policy. Part of being in a public school means that the Internet access is already filtered, and Ms. Vandersande has determined that that is enough to ensure that children are cooperating online. She is vocal about allowing students to explore the online world and build their digital literacies. As Ms. Vandersande states, “I didn’t really set any policies “in place”. Kids came in and asked to use the computers, and I said, “sure!” The asked if they were “allowed” to use Google, and I said “sure!” The asked if they could print, and I said, “sure!”
When I asked if she is concerned about monitoring what the students are doing online, she shared a funny anecdote with me.
The worst thing that has happened out of all of this freedom is that a student printed a Google image search of “sad puppies”. It wasted a lot of paper and ink, but it sure was cute!
This is the second post of my in depth review of Edward Lucas’ book, “Cyberphobia”