Doug Johnson offered up a challenge to those of us railing against this dopey DOPA legisation to put our misery where our mouths are and offer up a list of the professional organizations we belong to who might challenge this, write a letter that others might use to contact their Congresspeople, and discuss any other actions we might take.
First, here’s my letter, thrown up on a wiki that is just waiting for your additions, deletions, edits, etc. It’s not the greatest thing I’ve ever composed, I’ll admit, (which makes it perfect for a wiki) but it’s a decent start, I think. Together, we can make it better. (Wiki goodness.)
Second, I’m a member of ISTE (though I need to re-up), the New Jersey Supervisors and Principals Association, the Journalism Education Association and, (I think) the National Council of Teachers of English (though that might have expired, come to think of it.) I’ll be sending a copy of whatever we come up with to the leaders of those organizations as well.
Finally, as to what else we can do about this. First and foremost, we have to teach. Not our kids, but our teachers. I have the good fortune to send this out to my staff as a part of my “thanks for the memories” e-mail on Monday. It’s the perfect opportunity to try to contextualize what’s happening “out there” and try to help them understand why they should be thinking about this stuff and asking these questions. And we should all look at this as an opportunity to move these discussions into wider circles, because, as I’ve said before, this is less an education issue as much as it is a cultural/societal issue.
Stephen says that the American legislators will at some point wake up and water it down or withdraw the bill at some point. I’m not so sure. Not to be hyperbolic or anything, but the freedoms we currently enjoy on the Web are increasingly coming under attack, and unless we start getting our acts together in short order, we’re all going to wake up one day in the near future and wonder what hit us. This is about control and money and power, and Doug is absolutely right to move us toward action.
“I don’t think lawmakers have had a lot of time to think about the implications of Web 2.0,” and they are indulging in “fear mongering,” Collier says.”
Amen to that…