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    New York Times: Teaching About Web Includes Troublesome Parts

    The New York Times reports on the issues (including those related to privacy) that can arise while trying to teach children how to use the Internet responsibly:

    The first wave of parental anxiety about the Internet focused on security and adult predators. That has given way to concerns about how their children are acting online toward friends and rivals, and what impression their online profiles might create in the minds of college admissions officers or future employers. […]

    Financed largely by foundation money, Common Sense will offer a free curriculum to schools this fall that teaches students how to behave online. New York City and Omaha have decided to offer it; Denver, the District of Columbia, Florida, Los Angeles, Maine and Virginia are considering it. […]

    Common Sense’s classes, based on research by Howard Gardner, a Harvard psychology and education professor, are grouped into topics he calls “ethical fault lines”: identity (how do you present yourself online?); privacy (the world can see everything you write); ownership (plagiarism, reproducing creative work); credibility (legitimate sources of information); and community (interacting with others). […]

    But some media experts say that in focusing on social issues, Common Sense misses some of the larger, structural problems facing children online.

    “We can’t make the awareness of Web issues solely person- and relationship-centered,” said Joseph Turow, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Children should learn things like what a cookie or a Web virus is, and how corporations profit from tracking consumers online, he said.

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