In lieu of the controversy, networks have stepped up their efforts to create safer online communities for students. Facebook, which currently has over 900 million users making it the largest social networking site, partnered with the National PTA "to promote responsible and safe Internet use to kids, parents and teachers."
According to a report about the collaboration, "National PTA and Facebook will establish a comprehensive program that will provide information, support and news to encourage citizenship online, reduce cyberbullying and advance Internet safety and security." Facebook went on to create both safety and education tabs that provide information and resources for educators and concerned parents.
Myspace also established a partnership with the Attorney General, created a safety task force, and released a list of strategies for online safety.
As the debate over the role technology and social networking play in the classroom continues, proponents on both sides are fighting to find a balance between the importance of innovation and the safety of students. Though there are risks associated with encouraging students to use social networking sites, proponents argue the potential for opportunity outweigh the costs. As solutions that satisfy both sides continue to develop, online education resources may pave the way for growth in America's schools.
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But it’s not just the vast amount of information that makes research difficult — and librarians essential — today. Commercial search engines often complicate the process of finding balanced information. In an age w
“one way mirror(s),” search results tend to provide individuals with search results based on their searching habits, which reinforce what they already believe about any given topic. Students (and many teachers) need training to find the best information because it is hidden by Internet “page ranking” and search personalization.4 In other words, students need to be taught how to be critical researchers.