At virtually every corner these days, teachers are exhorted to use technology – and media-driven technology in particular – to engage students; sometimes we educators might feel that unless we’re interfacing with students primarily with a screen or two between us, we’re not really “reaching them.” Years from now, it will certainly be interesting to see how people look back at these transitional days for new media interfaces and the world of Internet culture. To highlight the ongoing debate about SOPA and PIPA – which quite prevalently involve widespread trends in media use – I’ve found a sample page that presents common approaches by educators. Here is a link to that article – “Free Social Media Tools for Teachers.” It is notable that many of the uses of the Internet recommended in educational blogs and articles on current pedagogical trends (like the one above and countless others I have seen) involve, at least in part, what would fall under copyright infringement and thus would become fair game for shutdown under this legislation. Of course, the variety of these platforms has increased since this posting but remains quite similar.
On a personal note, I am very happy to report that one of the most prominent current voices in the national debate about legal issues dealing with digital news standards, social media, and related domains is a former student of mine (not in media studies or digital moviemaking but French class!), Trevor Timm, who is a lawyer currently writing for Electronic Frontier Foundation.