Online predators: Overblown threat?

Much conversation has occurred in the educational blogging community about DOPA. One of the arguments against DOPA that hasn't popped up that much is the fact that the perceived problem may be largely overblown. While it's obviously important to keep children safe and protect students against online predators, it's also equally important to keep the issue in proper perspective. Consider the following:


  • Only about one-fifth of online sexual solicitations occur on non-home computers (see p. 18 of the full report; this remaining fifth would include schools, libraries, etc.)
  • Students who come across sexual predators and cyberbullies are, for the most part, handling those situations fairly effectively
  • The numbers aren't uniformly positive, of course. For example:

  • Some teenagers still are engaging in risky behaviors, including talking online about sex with someone they've never met in person, arranging to actually meet someone they only knew online, pretending to be a different person / age online, or never telling their parents that they were solicited by adults online (2005, Polly Klaas Foundation)
  • The numbers are pretty clear that the proportion of online sexual solicitations that occur during school time is pretty low. This means that DOPA is a solution in search of a problem, with the concurrent effects on positive Internet tool usage and lack of opportunity to teach students about appropriate use that already have been noted.

    I highly recommend you check out some of the high-quality work being done by the CCRC, CSRIU, and others. If we're going to hype ourselves up about these issues, we should at least have a solid factual base to undergird our conversations.

    Understand your own mind and goals via bullet journaling

    Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.

    Videos
    • Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
    • The Bullet Journal method, in particular, can reduce clutter in your life by helping you visualize your future.
    • One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
    Keep reading Show less

    How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

    Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

    Image: Dicken Schrader
    Strange Maps
    • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
    • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
    • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
    Keep reading Show less

    Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

    New research links urban planning and political polarization.

    Pixabay
    Politics & Current Affairs
    • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
    • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
    • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
    Keep reading Show less