Kutztown computer felonies - where does the fault lie?

By Murray Bourne, 31 Aug 2005

This is an interesting story about a bunch of grade 9 to 12 students who got in deep trouble for changing passwords and otherwise messing with the security of their laptops in a school laptop programme: "Kutztown 13" (from Wired.com, but no longer available).

There is a dilemma about giving students open access to the Web - should they be protected or should they learn where to go and where not to go? More fundamentally, if schools (generally), and laptop programmes (in particular), focused on well-designed and meaningful learning events, the problem would be reduced.

The kids have set up their own site at http://www.cutusabreak.org/ (update: This site no longer exists) which makes for interesting reading. What I found quite striking was all the references to learning in the "History" page. Learning occurred because motivation ("I can break your dopey system") was high.

There are lessons in this for all of us who deal with Internet use in education...

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