prohibits access to a commercial social networking website or chat roomwith a social networking website and chat room defined as
The term `commercial social networking website' means a commercially operated Internet website that--
`(i) allows users to create web pages or profiles that provide information about themselves and are available to other users; and
`(ii) offers a mechanism for communication with other users, such as a forum, chat room, email, or instant messenger.
`(K) CHAT ROOMS- The term `chat rooms' means Internet websites through which a number of users can communicate in real time via text and that allow messages to be almost immediately visible to all other users or to a designated segment of all other users.'.
In other words, students at school couldn't use blogs. Or del.icio.us. Or Flickr. Or Gmail. Or Hotmail. Or Yahoo Mail. Or students' personal email accounts. Or Bloglines. Or video or audio conferencing sites. Or web page creation sites. Or any website creates by a website creation site. Or online help sites that are forum based. In fact, depending on how you interpret this definition, you could argue that students wouldn't be allowed to access the vast majority of websites - since almost all websites have some kind of commenting/feedback/forum component to them. It's like proposing legislation to turn off the Internet for all those under 18 (at least while they are at school or in a public library). And, since the logical way to implement this is through our existing Internet Filter, the end result is that all these things will be blocked for staff as well.
So, any guesses on where I stand on this? If you have an opinion, I suggest you write your congressperson. Or email them - while you still can. (I'd suggest calling them, but only if you don't mind the NSA listening in.) I'm sure glad Congress is helping us prepare our students to be successful in the 21st century . . .
Note: I'm no longer going to include a link to the podcast in each post (sometimes I don't have time to record the podcast right away, so it delays the post itself). I will continue creating the podcasts and they'll be accessible on the right side of the blog (or via iTunes if you subscribe), but they may show up a little bit later (when I get a chance to record).