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Anne Bubnic

Chatroulette: What's an Educator to Do? - 2 views

  • You never know who you are going to encounter: a predator? Someone sitting there naked?” asks Barnett. “All it would take is one such incident and the school will be sued by an angry parent. Our focus should be on helping students to learn to be cyber safe and we don't have to do that by actually being on Chatroulette.com.”
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    On listservs and blogs, education researchers and teachers are beginning to discuss how to handle this latest online application. To most educators, filtering is never a preferred option. Teachers and media specialists almost uniformly choose to use opportunities like this to teach students how to make decisions about what's appropriate on their own. "One of the responsibilities of working with students on the use of online resources is to make them aware of potential dangers so they can make informed choices," says Deb Logan, librarian and media specialist for Mount Gilead (OH) High School, by email. "A discussion of online resources like Chatroulette offers a learning opportunity. These opportunities sometimes come at unexpected times." But educators believe Chatroulette may be a bit different then other similar sites like Omegle.com and Facebook's PopJam in that video is involved-and there's no way to edit what pops up on the screen other than clicking "next" after it's already appeared. There's no lurking allowed on Chatroulette-once a user signs in, they're visible to anyone who chances upon them, and anyone, in turn, is visible to them. Needless to say, there's a bit of nudity and sexual play being reported on the site, and the swiftness of people moving from image to image doesn't allow children to protect themselves-other than signing off.
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