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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

go, now

I've been watching this story for a while, and I've really been shocked into silence.

The story is about Julie Amero, the substitute teacher in Connecticut who is looking at 40 years in prison for the porn ads that popped up on her computer during class back in 2004. I've been doing some more reading today, thanks to Scout, and from what I see, if they wanted to go after someone, it should have been the school's network admin. It's their job to keep this kind of thing from happening, not a teacher's fault if it does happen. And educators should have a yearly IT 101 class to help them troubleshoot for spyware and teach them the basics of operating their computers if they don't know already (and even if they do know, since technology changes faster than we sometimes can keep up with).

I'm the resident computer geek in my office, and in every office I've ever been in. Just today I taught someone how to use Outlook, and showed another employee how to burn a file to a CD. Both very basic operations. And I feel pretty sure that when I'm working at a school I'll be helping other educators with their computers. Not knowing what to do when a computer isn't operating properly is not a crime. The crime lies in letting this sort of incident inhibit the way we use technology in classrooms.

This link goes to Julie's blog. Please donate if you feel so inspired. I certainly did.