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US School Curriculum to Include Online Safety? 137

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the more-information-is-rarely-a-bad-thing dept.
Stony Stevenson writes to mention that the US National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is pushing for school's to include cyber-security, online safety, and ethics lessons in their normal curriculum. "The National School Boards Association reported that 96 per cent of school districts claim that at least some of their teachers assign homework requiring internet use. But there is still no formal education on how to stay safe, secure and ethical online, despite the fact that the internet, like the real world, has threats and dangers which students may come across in the normal course of a day. These include communications from identity thieves, online predators and cyber-bullies."
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US School Curriculum to Include Online Safety?

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  • yea right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by liquidpele (663430) on Friday August 17, 2007 @10:56AM (#20261153) Journal
    I can see this working if they have a dedicated teacher that knows what he's talking about, but most teachers don't know how to be safe online either! Plus if it's mandated, it'll probably end up being a "it's illegal to copy images/music/movies from the internet" lecture every day.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by UnderDark (869922)
      Case in point:

      When I was in high school (AP Computer Science), the teacher (who knew what she was doing) would take days off and be replaced by a substitute. The only problem was that my high school classified computer programming as a math, which isn't that far off; but the substitutes would always come in and be shocked that there were computers. She would say that she was told this was a math course, and that she didn't know the first thing about programming.

      This happened about once a month.
      • Case in point:

        When I was in high school (AP Computer Science), the teacher (who knew what she was doing) would take days off and be replaced by a substitute. The only problem was that my high school classified computer programming as a math, which isn't that far off; but the substitutes would always come in and be shocked that there were computers. She would say that she was told this was a math course, and that she didn't know the first thing about programming.

        This happened about once a month.


        You're lucky
        • by AndersOSU (873247)
          It's a thing that varies state to state. In some states (Ohio) new teachers end up subing for years waiting for a full time position to open up.
          • It's a thing that varies state to state. In some states (Ohio) new teachers end up subing for years waiting for a full time position to open up.

            Yup; and by district as well. I've worked with districts that had 500 vacant teaching slots; of course since a teacher can't afford to live near the district on the starting salary no one takes the jobs.

            OH-IO Long live the seatervest.
      • What was going on that kept this teacher from showing up to work? Teachers only have 180 work days out of the possible 260 weekdays. That is 80 vacation days a year. A whopping 12 week summer vacation leaves 20 days off in the remaining 9 months. That averages just over two weekdays a month off. Your complaint shouldn't be that the sub didn't know programming. Your complain should be that they didn't, or couldn't fire an employee that didn't seem capable of showing up to work. Then on top of that, we
        • Uh, he said that he didn't show up to teach his class, not that he didn't show up to work. If he is only qualified as a "computer teacher" then odds are he is also a computer tech support person for the district, if its a smaller district, he may be the ONLY person in the district that supports their computers. On days when he was required to be elsewhere during the time of the class due to his primary job duties, then he'd need a sub. At my school we had someone with this role somewhat reverse - he was
          • by Belial6 (794905)
            So, your saying that you see it likely that this school district had so much critical computer infrastructure that this teacher couldn't take an hour out of his IT problem solving day to show up to class? What exactly is it that this school district would be doing on their computers that couldn't wait until this teachers class was over?
    • You know it's just going to be more of the same BS [slashdot.org]. The overall message is always, "Big dumb companies do a lot for you and don't trust your neighbors."

    • Re:yea right (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Friday August 17, 2007 @11:31AM (#20261699) Homepage Journal
      Generally speaking, American schools haven't managed to do much about good old-fashioned regular bullying for generations. Now they're supposed to solve cyber-bullying as well?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by russ1337 (938915)
      >>> it'll probably end up being a "it's illegal to copy images/music/movies from the internet" lecture every day.

      Yeah, you're probably not far from the truth there.

      In New Zealand they've just introduced a program, as reported here: [nzherald.co.nz]

      Actor Temuera Morrison is being used as the face of a nationwide campaign against film and television piracy.
      Secondary schools throughout New Zealand have been sent movie posters featuring Morrison for their classrooms as part of a campaign launched in Auckland t

      • by russ1337 (938915)
        BAH! Stealing..... vs Steeling...

        Spelling... Ok. I get it. Should have looked closer but I was soo pissed off with this shit that I missed it.
      • by RexRhino (769423)

        I think this is fucking bullshit. Why the fuck are TradeGroups getting into our schools and doing their bidding. What, are the steel unions next? Will the Printing Union be putting posters around saying "Don't use a photocopier - it's steeling!"

        Public education was established to create a literate and obedient industrial working class. Public education has always been first and foremost about propoganda and social conditioning.

        The propoganda and social conditioning changes with the times, but trade groups operating in schools is nothing new... it goes back to the development of the first modern cumpulsary schooling in 19th century Prussia.

        See this site for more information: http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/ [johntaylorgatto.com]

        • by russ1337 (938915)
          Wow, that is really interesting. I've never looked at it from that perspective. Still though. Just because they did it back then, doesn't mean it's right by today's standards. Thanks for that link though, it is very interesting.
    • "I can see this working if they have a dedicated teacher that knows what he's talking about"

      You mean, the same as having a math teacher teach math, or a history teacher teach history? You may be on to something here...Now if only there was a way to implement such an idea...

      Of course, there are those environments, like grade schools, where one teacher often covers all the classes for a particular grade level. So with the right reference materials and training they could probably teach your 5th grader the b
      • Don't be an ass. Most schools don't hire extra teachers for one class like this. They'll have someone already working there teach it (probably a vocational teacher). At a lot of schools that would mean someone under qualified for the course material involved.

        • They can't do that any more (Though of course grandfather provisions still exist)

          For a new position, the person teaching it must be "Highly qualified", this means that they must have at least a bachelor's degree, pass the state teaching test to be certified by the state DoE, and have at least 24 credits in the field that they will be teaching in.

          For High School, this would mean that the position would have to be filled by someone with 24 credit-hours in Computer saftey/ethics/etc. this "etc." would probably
          • Depends. There are lots of loop holes. If they classify the class as a Math class, guess who teaches it? Who what if they classify it as Sociology and the poor psychology teacher has to teach it?

            Also, in many places if there is a lack of qualified teachers for an area (they can't find one that meets the requirements that wants to make low pay) they can hire almost anyone short term. My wife is teaching right now on a Provisional certificate (doesn't have her actual teaching cert yet, she's currently
            • by Belial6 (794905)
              Actually, they will probably classify it as Health and Safety. That way they can hire more coaches. It's important to have your priorities straight.
  • "School's"? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by nlitement (1098451)
    Who dares to let through such idiotic abuse's [sic] of the apostrophe?!
    • That wasn't a mistake. They were attempting to demonstrate how poorly implemented the school systems are by pointing out how they, too, have been victims of it.

      Evidently they succeeded.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Oh great, look what youve done. Now some idiots going to post some comment thatll put apostrophes everywhere, especially where its inappropriate, all the while the guyll think hes so funny. Its old, its really old.
  • Good idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eln (21727) * on Friday August 17, 2007 @10:58AM (#20261169) Homepage
    I think this is a good idea, although I would suggest making the teachers and administrators attend the class too. In most schools I've seen, most of the students know more about this stuff than the teachers do, and the teachers are a whole lot more resistant to learning about it, as they lump it in with "all that computer stuff" that they've convinced themselves they're incapable of learning.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Billosaur (927319) *

      I think an even better idea is to raise technology to an actual curriculum area, like English, Math, etc. Right now, too many schools are using teachers in other subjects who have even a little computer knowledge as computer teachers. Instead, given the prevalence of the Internet and its underlying technology, the importance of teaching kids to use the Internet properly and to give them some insight into its inner workings would seem to be a necessity in this century and beyond.

      • by eln (21727) *
        I agree that technology should be taught more in schools. When I was in high school there were only two offered computer classes, and they were electives. I think there needs to be at least one mandatory class. The problem is there is a serious shortage of people that really know computers that are willing to teach them at that level. Most of the people that are into computers are making a whole lot more money than K-12 school could provide either in the private sector or teaching at the college level.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by RealAlaskan (576404)
        ... raise technology to an actual curriculum area, like English, Math, etc.

        English hasn't changed dramatically in the last 100 years. We can still read Shakespeare's stuff, which are around 400 years old.

        The basics of math hasn't changed dramatically in 2,000+ years. Sure, computation got a bit easier after the decimal system became wide-spread about 1,000 years ago, but that's not a change in the fundamentals.

        20 year old technology is obsolete. I know: let's teach that in schools!

        I don't think

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by FiloEleven (602040)
        I disagree. First of all, 'technology' is too broad a term for what you're describing, which is really nothing more than computer literacy. Technology encompasses pretty much every scientific and engineering advancement made since, well, ever. The fork is a product of technology, as is the Spinning Jenny, and the tennis ball, and double-pane windows, and...

        I believe that computer literacy is important, and I agree that competent teachers should be hired to teach the subject, but giving it the same import
        • by Billosaur (927319) *

          What I am talking about is beyond computer literacy. Let's face it, most kids will take a generic science class and learn all sorts of neat and wonderful things, but it's not until they get into classes like Chemistry and Physics that they get a more in-depth picture and learn more about the scientific method and experimentation. I propose that we make computing on a par with these things. At the minimum, we have to teach people the basic skills to run their PC/laptop and surf the Internet wisely. Beyond th

          • by xenocide2 (231786)
            The trouble with Computer Science is that it's not a science, directly speaking. It's more similar to engineering disciplines: you design a system to meet requirements, and analyze the design using mathematical principals. Partly, the last part has eroded as the requirements have shifted from technology to "customer logic". A large group of types of programs have computation constraints that are eased with every passing moment by improvements in computing power, enough that many people don't bother to look
    • by Burz (138833)
      It's an awesome idea. Everyone should be going through a 3-day introduction course that includes cyber-safety.

      I wonder if they will cover basic things like paying attention to SSL certificate warnings, and not executing email attachments.

      Of course, there is a lot modern OSes could do to help (but don't), like superimposing an executable signifier (such as a red exclamation mark) over the icons of all executables. User interfaces confuse people about the difference between code and data, and the spread of tr
      • User interfaces confuse people about the difference between code and data, and the spread of trojans is the unfortunate result.

        In reality, the difference between code and data ends up being even more confusing than modern user interfaces would imply. Software developers seem to really enjoy the idea of embedding code in data or the other way around - so a good percentage of files are both.

        This presents something of a problem. Not because there aren't solutions - I can think of four or five good ones off h

      • User interfaces confuse people about the difference between code and data, and the spread of trojans is the unfortunate result.

        BZZZZzzzz... Wrong... Code is data!

        I think what maybe you meant to say is that User interfaces confuse people about the difference between executable code and non-executable data" I know... nit-picking to a certain degree, but here's the kicker buffer overflows are exploited by using that non-difference. find a way to inject extra "data" that also happens to be executable code fragments, and presto, you're in

        This is also how SQL-injection attacks happen... input code as the data, and presto, the computer

    • I think this is a good idea, although I would suggest making the teachers and administrators attend the class too. In most schools I've seen, most of the students know more about this stuff than the teachers do, and the teachers are a whole lot more resistant to learning about it, as they lump it in with "all that computer stuff" that they've convinced themselves they're incapable of learning.

      That's nice, but it comes down to a time and money issue - where do you find the time to do this course - before sch
      • I went with my wife to a "Teacher store" to get some things for her classroom. Yes I am married to a teacher.
        The educational posters clearly showed a tower case with the label - Modem. This explained all the many complaints about broken modems from people using computers with nics and no modem. Somebody has to educate the educators.
    • I think it is a good idea, put i t in the same classes as consumer education (you know where they each you stuff about shopping for value, writing checks, etc, all the real-life skills you will need when you are living on your own.) Though I guess it would also be good for younger kids for the cyberbulying thing, (what is it like 3rd or 4th grade when I saw Free to Be You and Me - that probably shows my age.) It goes along the same lines as letter writing too (but for email, (any of 'you kids' learn the p
    • by Alsee (515537)
      Lesson 1:
      Look both ways before crossing the Internet Superhighway.

      -
  • How about... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother@HORSEop ... minus herbivore> on Friday August 17, 2007 @10:59AM (#20261185) Journal

    ...they push teachers to teach children basic skills like reading, writing, mathematics, public speaking, and give them a thorough knowledge of world and American history, logic, and problem solving. I suspect if you teach children how to function properly in society by giving them the necessary tools, then they won't wind up falling into these traps and will be able to make more informed decisions. Just my opinion.

    • by eln (21727) *
      The Internet is a huge part of "society" these days, and it will only become more so as time passes. Teaching kids how to function properly in a segment of society that they spend an enormous amount of time in seems like a worthy goal.

      We've seen over the past decade that people, for whatever reason, tend to trust websites more than they probably should, and will more readily hand over their social security number to a website than they would to their own mother. This apparently natural tendency needs to b
      • by Billosaur (927319) *

        It's definitely a worthy goal. But if I've seen anything in recent years, it's this increased propensity for school's to teach what I call "touch-feely" curricula, to try and work on children's self-esteem and socialization. I think if we arm children with knowledge, teach them how to solve problems on their own, and let them go at it, they will build personal character and have stronger self-esteem. That's how it worked in my day -- I got my self-esteem through my accomplishments and reaching the goals I s

        • by Belial6 (794905)
          "But if I've seen anything in recent years, it's this increased propensity for school's to teach what I call "touch-feely" curricula, to try and work on children's self-esteem and socialization."

          No doubt. A couple of weeks ago, I actually heard a five year old tell her mother "Your not my teacher" when her mother told her to climb up to the table.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by EMeta (860558)
      Which is all good and lovely, except there are some problems kids can get themselves into before all this education is done. You teach a child to look both ways before crossing the street because they my encounter cars before they are fully cognizant about the particular biology and physics that would make a child-car collision unfortunate. Similarly with many other things. Certainly, for said program to be effective it should be given at latest in middle school, but elementary instruction would be far m
      • by Billosaur (927319) *

        Of course teaching a Technology curriculum, like anything, is going to have to begin at the beginning. There are kids in nursery school learning how to operate PCs/Macs, and that's where it has to begin. By the time kids get to grade school, they should be well-founded in using a computer -- then the next step would be to teach them Internet access. Of course grade schoolers aren't going to get into the esoterica of web surfing, but they should be taught how to get to useful resources. I wouldn't see kids l

      • by IANAAC (692242)

        You teach a child to look both ways before crossing the street because they my encounter cars before they are fully cognizant about the particular biology and physics that would make a child-car collision unfortunate. Similarly with many other things.

        I don't know about you, but I don't rely on the school system to teach my kid how and when to cross the street. Similarly, I don't rely on the school system to teach them to be careful on the internet (or any other social-related thing, for that matter).

        • by deniable (76198)
          You're right, but it's better if they get a double dose than none at all. And this way all of the idiots they hang out with get it too.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by T_ConX (783573)
      '...teach children basic skills like reading, writing...'

      I second the motion. Judging from what I've seen kids right, I can only come to the conclusion that a majority of them don't know how to spell even the simplist of words.

      Forget about the their/there/they're confusion. It's getting so bad, that I have to sometimes sound out the mish-mash of syllables they've put together in order to understand what word they intended to write.

      Invyrowmentill. I swear to Cthulhu, I once saw that! The English l
      • by Torvaun (1040898)
        What you've seen kids 'right'? Can't spell the 'simplist' of words? I don't think we can put all of the blame on the kids...
  • Relative risk (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nasor (690345) on Friday August 17, 2007 @11:02AM (#20261229)
    I suspect that a child is vastly more likely to be hurt or killed traveling to a real-world library to get books for their homework than they are to run into any sort of "danger" online.
    • The tendency of the Slashdot community to automatically ensure anything containing the words "children" and "safety" is a "but won't somebody think of the children?" situation is starting to piss me off. While there ARE risks involved (a friend of a friend lost her virginity at 16 to a 42-year-old man who has a record of such things... but he seemed only a few years older than she was on MySpace), the real problem is that people are operating complicated and expensive technology with little to no idea of ho
  • Almost a good idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kranfer (620510) on Friday August 17, 2007 @11:02AM (#20261231) Homepage Journal
    While I do understand the need for teaching our nation's children about safety, I am wondering if this should fall upon the parents to educate their children about what is on the internet and to keep their children away from sites that can be harmful. I do not think I would want my tax dollars to be spent to teach little johnny or susan about how bad people are on the internet... teaching them the proper way to do research is one thing, but security and safety is another that I don't think the education system should be involved in per se... maybe a little but not a whole hell of a lot.
    • While I would agree that having parents teach internet safety to their children would work better in later generations, I do not think it best for now. Most kids know more about the internet than their parents, so it would be a case of the blind leading the blind.
    • The types of people who are unable to manage their own sensitive data, safely, are the same types of people who get jobs at your bank and credit card company and fail to follow safe security practices because they don't know any better.

      Teaching kids the fundamentals of computer security will benefit society as a whole, just like teaching kids math, science, language etc. does. If that is not the purpose of public education then I do not know what is (with the exception of free day care service).
    • by Burz (138833)
      You make a good point, and I'd like to add that we should be questioning this assumption that small children should be allowed to play on the info superhighway by themselves at all.

      Yet, I get the feeling that American parents want to sit little Johnny in front of the computer and walk away just like they do with the TV.
    • by PitaBred (632671)
      While bash.org is rarely topical, right now I think it is [bash.org]
    • by Jake73 (306340)
      Agreed. How about we teach them to do math and science first.

      It was always my parents that told me not to take candy from strangers. My grade-school teachers taught me about prime numbers, British poetry, and scientific method.
  • by vigmeister (1112659) on Friday August 17, 2007 @11:06AM (#20261295)
    to ensure that restrictions imposed (like always tell your REAL age to websites when they ask you if you are 13) don't spike curiosity in the kids to do things they otherwise wouldn't. How about parents make the rules (if they know how to) or they buy software to protect their kids in addition to some kind of summer camp run by private companies or by NPOs. I fear that these teachers will be paid $24000 p.a. and predators might end up with these jobs to game the system. Privatized/non-profit sponsored education will help improve the quality of education.

    Captcha - 'counsels'

    Cheers!
  • by forsetti (158019) on Friday August 17, 2007 @11:06AM (#20261301)
    Wow -- my kids also come into contact with School Buses, Sidewalks, and Cafeterias during the normal course of school. They better start teach safety courses for those too!!!!
    • i think kids get safety lectures about stuff like that. countless cartoon/comic spoofs aside, i remember when i was in grade school (kindergarden to grade 6 or whatever), we would have police officers show up and teach us about street safety and stuff like that. overall, i don't think this is a bad idea. im just worried about the actual execution.
  • Kids are already taught not to take candy from strangers. Do we really need to tell them not to take sex from "sugardaddy69"? Isn't the second statement implied by the first?
    • Kids often don't make the connection between one sort of advice and another sort of advice.

      I'd be happy to see a simple pamphlet handed out to kids, and read over during their "health" / "sex ed" class. Could make it an entire chapter in that class, and cover everything from pervs to thieves. For those who op out of sex ed, oh well, I guess you will have to have your parents teach you about the internet.
  • by morari (1080535) on Friday August 17, 2007 @11:07AM (#20261311) Journal
    Like online predators and cyber-bullies! We definitely need to protect the children from online rape and cyber playground fights!
  • My school taught me "Online Safety", I think it was required. The teacher was the PE teacher, and we watched a couple of movies where kids were raped by 40 year old men that they've been talking to online and decided to meet up with. Nothing about protecting your identity or keeping from identity theft. For crying out loud the teacher had a Myspace account!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Verte (1053342)

      "we watched a couple of movies where kids were raped by 40 year old men"

      Sounds like you had a very liberal education :)
  • Yay (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kahei (466208) on Friday August 17, 2007 @11:09AM (#20261353) Homepage

    there is still no formal education on how to stay safe, secure and ethical online,

    Yay, sanity prevails! At least, as of this instant.

    The trouble is, teaching maths, grammar and history to kids whose career goal is to be a supermodel is inherently hard. Worthwhile, but difficult and even expensive. On the other hand, teaching them 'how to stay safe, secure and ethical online' is easy. Pointless, but easy and free-as-in-beer. If you're running a school or formulating an education policy, you're going to be tempted.

    Luckily, immigration policies and economic conditions are generally still such that educated people (educated in regions where the career goal is to get an education and move to the West) continue to immigrate. Yay again!

  • It seems like this should be easy enough for parents to teach. It's just a shame that we can't trust parents to teach their children anything these days.
    • by EMeta (860558)
      These days? The requirements to enter into parenthood have changed little in recent years (In fact, I could argue it's gotten significantly easier not to). Likewise the education imparted by parents retains a similar normal distribution. Accounts of the new disrespect for adults are rather consistent across many centuries. Part of the idea of the public education system is to try to divorce children from the limitations of their parents. And it would certainly be a difficult argument to make that the c
      • by cerelib (903469)

        Part of the idea of the public education system is to try to divorce children from the limitations of their parents.


        That is exactly the problem. Judging by the state of our public education system, I don't see any possible argument that this approach is working. A child's learning process needs participation from the parents to succeed. No system is perfect, but there should be consequences for parents who refuse to take an active role in their child's education.
    • The state has taken over for the parents in so many ways that parents are scarcely allowed to teach their children.

      Some kids never learn about the birds and the bees and basic responsibility from their folks - so now, all kids must spend countless hours of their education learning not to sleep around or they'll get sick and to use birth control or they'll have kids. So now, the teachers unions have made themselves the gateway of sexual knowledge. The schools have picked it up, so why should the parents ha
  • ...but we need more than that.

    Here's what I think we should push for:

    Have all convicted spammers, malware authors and other "cyber criminals" engage in mandatory community service educating the public about internet safety. Have them tour schools, businesses and public libraries giving presentations everywhere. They need to tell the public how they collect their information, who they collect it from, how it is used, outline the deceptive practices that are used when they victimize people and so on and so
  • "and ethical" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Speare (84249) on Friday August 17, 2007 @11:18AM (#20261497) Homepage Journal

    The proposal says "and ethical" which I take to mean indoctrinating a willingness to prop up ancient and unfair art-patron business models rather than nourish a new generation of self-referential art and culture.

    • I don't see what the beef is with teaching kids about copyright laws as they are today. Perhaps it would be an appropriate time to discuss the matter and introduce various points of view.

      But I think the days of "I didn't know it was illegal to share my entire music collection with the world" should be long gone by now. Chances are they're still going to do it, but they should at least know the legal potential of doing so.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Speare (84249)

        I don't see what the beef is with teaching kids about copyright laws as they are today. Perhaps it would be an appropriate time to discuss the matter and introduce various points of view.

        If that was the curriculum, I'd be overjoyed. But (1) the teachers don't know much about this field, so they're talking off some handy curricula circulars from the district, and (2) those curricula circulars are written by, and the legislative priorities are set by lobbyists and corporate interests. Do you think they'll include that bit about "discuss" and "various points of view"? It is like getting , oh, I don't know... RIAA drafting the Iraqi constitution's intellectual property protections [theregister.co.uk].

    • by deniable (76198)
      My first thought was doing your own homework and not downloading existing papers. Copy and paste makes plagiarism really easy.
    • Re:"and ethical" (Score:4, Insightful)

      by pla (258480) on Friday August 17, 2007 @12:38PM (#20263095) Journal
      The proposal says "and ethical" which I take to mean indoctrinating a willingness to prop up ancient and unfair art-patron business models

      Schools exist for two purposes only (and the second only as a side-effect out of necessity to support the first): Indoctrination as good little corporate slaves, and socialized babysitting.

      When we used to ask our math teachers "when will I ever use this", the could accurately have answered "Your future masters keep complaining that you little bastards can't make change or accurately count inventory. So stop trying to think for yourself, suck it up, and do what we say."



      "Sally gives you a $10 bill to pay for 20 oranges at $1.85/lb, with four oranges to the pound. The register says to give her 75 cents change - How many quarters should you give Sally?"
  • Outsourcing (Score:3, Funny)

    by pzs (857406) on Friday August 17, 2007 @11:21AM (#20261535)
    Since we seem to be outsourcing our parenting into schools, why don't we go one step further and outsource teaching to India? Kids could dial a call-centre every day to get their new dose of government mandated knowledge for that day. This would save a ton of money we could then spend on invading random countries.

    The only problem with this approach is that people in India would be too sensible to teach creationism as science.

    Peter
  • I'm not sure if schools are the place to learn these lessons, just like schools are not to learn about real life. Who's version of it are they going to teach? What are the moral, ethical, and responsibility parameters for such a curriculum? Is this another one size fits all approach? How much more will it cost to create a curriculum and support structure for something that parents are responsible for?

    Don't know if anyone has notices but public schools rank pretty poorly in teaching the basics such as
    • Don't know if anyone has notices but public schools rank pretty poorly in teaching the basics such as reading, writing, and rithmetic.

      My school never even taught rithmetic at all! :(
      • by David_W (35680)

        My school never even taught rithmetic at all! :(

        Mine always called it "math," showing an obvious failing in the reading and writing areas.

  • Why is the web special? I don't think I was even given the option of formal education for protection/safety in the so called "real world"?
  • Why don't they just teach the kids to not go online, and hope for the best, instead of teaching them to do it in a safe manner? That seems to have worked out wonderfully when applied elsewhere.
    • by The Queen (56621)
      Well I was going to suggest surfing the 'net while supervised by an adult, but that sounds creepy now in light of your correlation...
  • by faloi (738831)
    I knew I recognized them...

    That's the surprising new recommendation from the National School Boards Association -- a not-for-profit organization representing 95,000 school board members -- in a new study funded by Microsoft, News Corporation, and Verizon. >

    So, basically, this article is saying that a group that's received funding for studies from big name technology companies has caused another group, with hardy approval from big name technology companies, to support teaching kids about on-line safet
  • Prudence (Score:2, Insightful)

    by morkfard (601963)
    Teaching students about online security should be done at a very fundamental level. Unless the student is very interested in that topic, a basic understanding is all that is necessary to prevent malicious attacks. Take a cue from the workplace, and provide an security workshop or online training sessions for the student to take when he or she starts each school year. It is not necessary to mandate coursework in this area; this would take valuable time away from more crucial learning, such as math, scienc
  • Looks like someone thought of the children!!
  • Sure, digital security is important. But how about teaching kids how to buy a car or house? How to not get into tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debit? How to get a job? How to act like a person living in a modern society and not be a drain on your peers?

    They're skipping the first step - interaction in the real world. Then worry about that new fangled internet thing.
  • Do schools still have computer classes these days? I know back in my days, we did (late 80s with mostly Apple 2s). I had an awesome teacher (I wonder where they are now) who knew computers and that is how I got into computers. These teachers (yes, rare) could teach online safety.
    • Teaching computers in our local school system seems to be a "lab job" that does not fall under general education. There was a program at the local University that said it was looking into helping professionals move into teaching.

      I am a System Admin who always wondered if teaching would be enjoyable. I am also married to a teacher, so the sync in schedules would be nice as well. I checked into the program. I am qualified to teach geology/earth science, math, and biology based upon my college credits but
    • I forgot to mention that this was back in my elementary and junior high/middle school days.
  • In theory, this sounds nice. Kids getting taught that they should NOT be clickmonkeys, that it's NOT ok to click every friggin' thing sent to them, that they should NOT hand out their private information to everyone, actually, that they should probably refrain from giving anything private to anyone (and yes, that includes the government). That it's not a good idea to meet someone in person that you meet online without having a friend nearby that could call the cops in case that 15 year old loverboy is a 51
  • This seems like a fairly good idea, if it could be integrated with the computer classes and such that most students already take. When I was in school, we had to sign some paper saying we wouldn't do naughty things in order to use the school's internet service. This could be an extension of that same idea.

    To me, it seems like educating people is the best way to stop the spread of computer viruses and other malware. While some of these things spread through security flaws in operating systems, I would gue
  • Quite simply, I think what a major problem with our current grade/mid/high school education is that they don't take "computer education" seriously.

    When I was in elementary school, the net didn't really kick off yet. So we learned to type, play games, etc. I approve of that. At the elementary level, they need to learn the basics of using a computer.

    But the school's problem is that they never took the next step beyond "elementary." Even when they taught new programs (Like Powerpoint, or Frontpage ffs) and

  • With the current administration, I am sure the proposed mechanism will be "No internet is safe internet".

    Well, someone had to say it.
  • Intresting series, but something seems to be missing. Which is this. We are shown only one side. While it seems clear that a great many men want to have sex with underage persons, what you do NOT see is underage persons wanting to have sex with these men.

    Could perverted justice be the sole supplier of online personas wanting to talk dirty with old men and even meet them in person?

    Think of it like this, a police operation pre-tending to sell drugs PROVES the existence of people wanting to buy drugs. It doe

    • by geekoid (135745)
      "Think of it like this, a police operation pre-tending to sell drugs PROVES the existence of people wanting to buy drugs. It does NOT prove the existence of drug sellers.

      " PROVES the existence of people wanting to buy drugs. " no it does not prove that, they could be creating the demand.

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