Technology Checking In

Yesterday was another September 11, a date made infamous for the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.  If you were anywhere near media yesterday, there were reports, remembrances, and opinions galore.

This report from Gizmodo really drew my attention.  (Warning, if you follow the link, there are comments containing profanity)

Image via Wikipedia

The article was very succinct and posted to show a new image from NASA, captured from the International Space Station, showing New York City after the attacks on the World Trade Centre.  By clicking on the image, you immediately zoom in on a larger image.

As with most cases of citizen journalism, Gizmodo opens the article for comments from its readers.

The image attracted a couple of comments but then the phenomenon of this type of interactive media kicked in.  Subsequent visitors began to make comments about the comments.  Then, as it happens in cases like this, it turns nasty.

Do we teach students how to react to these types of actions?  Do we teach them how to interpret the content?  The message?  I had a long conversation with a colleague yesterday whose opinions I value greatly about the role of Current Events in the school day.  Does it have a place?  If so, where?  What curriculum expectations are addressed by reading or viewing the news of the day?

If you believe that news articles like this have a place in the classroom, what happens to the comments from citizens who are actively commenting on the article first and then commenting on each other?  When technology and its functionality, the great enabler checks in, how do we handle it?

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links for 2009-09-11