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" In response to greater access to technology and growing expectations
> of students, some faculty have begun setting out explicit guidelines
> in their syllabi regarding how and when technology should be used......"

Be Polite, E-Polite
Two faculty members at the University of Oregon have added "netiquette" to
the syllabus.

This is a really fascinating article. (I also recommend reading the students
articles that you can access through this article).

I was reading this article within the same week as I was doing an
investigation of social influence research wherein the following statement
was made: Most organizations would not operate effectively if deference to
authority were not one of the prevailing norms.

And I read the Time Magazine article on teens and multitasking -- which
contains a segment that includes some significant expressions of concern by
university faculty about the attitudes and study skills of youth entering
the university now.

So ok, it seems to me that the foundation of the problems related to
inappropriate emails being sent to faculty is a lack of deference to
authority. Now, I am of the opinion that our society would be better off if
perhaps there were a lack of some deference to some authority -- like a
corrupt president who got us embroiled in an unwinable war. But if, in fact,
major aspects of our society function based on deference to authority, how
will youth Internet use change this?

Now consider this: The first wave of kids who have been immersed in Internet
and related technologies is just now entering the university. Many think
they can multi-task -- but their work product demonstrates a lack of depth
of thinking and focus. They do not want to read anything in-depth. They have
to be taught to communicate respectfully via email. These kids are not even
yet entering the work force.

But the kids at the university now were not all engaged on MySpace when they
were in middle school. What is coming?


Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the Challenge of Online Social
Cruelty, Threats, and Distress, a resource for educators, is now available
online at

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