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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Common Sense comes to the E-Rate

I just learned of a resource that I thought I'd pass along.

As all you school folk should know by now, the FCC has implemented a change to CIPA requirements effective July 1, 2012.  By that time, schools need to update their Internet safety policies to “provide for the education of minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response."

Shortly after the law was passed in 2008, a couple of vendors started offering canned curricula to meet this requirement, and have sent out unsavory marketing emails with dire and misleading warnings about loss of E-Rate funding, and offering to provide a "appropriate online behavior curriculum" for a price.

Now it is actually time for dire warnings: comply with the new requirement by July 1 or lose funding.  And today, I learned of a free resource for curriculum from Common Sense Media.  I think you have to register (giving your name, email address and school) to get the content, but it's free and looks comprehensive.

(By the way, for you parents out there, Common Sense Media also offers pretty good movie reviews when you're wondering if the latest movie releases are appropriate for Junior.)

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