The grades that vanished, and some other threats to students’ data. Gnatek, T.

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Gnatek, T.  (2005, August 3).  The grades that vanished, and some other threats to students’ data.  The New York Times.  Retrieved from http//

An Annotation by Jeffery Ayer

This investigative article focuses almost wholly on the evils of the internet in schools, especially those that can in some way compromise the privacy of students, and not just changing grades, but identity theft and the like.  In one portion of the story, Gnatek cites Will Richardson, author of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms.  He says of using Web 2.0 technologies in schools, “It’s an issue to balance the tools with keeping kids’ privacy safe.”  In the same vein, Gnatek says that Richardson “encourages teachers to adopt blogs, wikis and other publishing tools as part of their curriculum, while acknowledging the risks inherent in posting information on the internet.”  Particularly, Richardson recommends first names or the use of a pseudonym, and no divulgence of personal information whatsoever.  Largely, this article asks for government officials and school officials alike to review current law and potentially update for the sake of maintaining the privacy of minors in an ever-changing digital world.

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