...because I spoke my mind about something controversial, (the principal) demonstrated to every student in that room that they will be punished for voicing their opinions...school is not the place to have an opinion.

comments by David Brand, an 18 year old student at Meadowvale, a school where YNN is being tested. He is also the author of the article for whom this node is titled that was published in the August/September 2000 issue of AdBusters: Journal of the Mental Environment

The United States is the only country in the civilized world that grants the commercial interests unfettered access to the minds of its children, and it should come to no surprise that the reading skills of American students improve during their primary-school years and then rapidly decline.

Taken from the article titled School Bells by Lewis H. Lapham that appears in the August 2000 edition of Harper's Magazine

The two articles are very complimentary on this issue. YNN is a project being implemented in some Canadian classrooms as a means to fund other projects in the school system. By agreeing to host YNN (Youth News Network) the schools are required to show their students the news programs YNN gears to children on the television sets that YNN installs in every classroom. In the article from Harper's, the issue is about corporations funding computers and internet access while at the same time advertising in the lower right corner of every computer screen during the time the students use the computers.

Perhaps a little willful consumer manipulation is a small price to pay for the funding public schools need and that we shouldn't take caution. But the main concern stems from the rapidly declining literacy levels of these students and how TV and internet access in the classroom is not being used at its educational capacity.

I won't quote any more of the two articles here. You need to go buy the two magazines and read them yourself. But, I have to say it seriously concerns me for the following generation. I did not have TV's in my classrooms nor internet access in school or in the home. but I did learn to read from watching Sesame Street on PBS. I also have had a reading level that was always a few grades above the grade I was in, so I could be considered a special case.

Please node comments to this node about what you think.

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Maybe this is not the correct place to node my concerns, maybe there is no correct place on all of Everything, but I am not all that sure of the educational value of television and even the internet.

I believe I have noded before, though I can't remember at the moment where, my belief that it is certainly to the advantage of corporations--tax deductions for the donation of hardware and software.

But even if one accepts the usefulness of such donations, it is just like a drug addiction--in a few years, the value of the contribution has dropped dramatically as the technology has become obsolete.

But I have grave doubts about the use of technology other than to assimilate children to their society--we already see that effect of television. And who many are sanguine about television's effects?

But it is how the technology is used, not the technology itself I already the criticisms being voiced.

Yes....but how will children learn how to use the technology? In Ontario, schools are already feeling the devastation of the cutbacks in school funding--the trade-off for tax cuts. Music, art, libraries, librarians, all the frills that distract from students learning how to go out and get a job! Also how the students learn how to think, to be wary of what they are presented with--unless we want them to be totally accepting of all that they see in the media, on the internet.

There is a new push to make up for the loss of public money, with private partnerships. But what is the agenda of those private concerns who wish to put stuff into the schools? Maybe their only concern is the well-being of the children--and their financial windfall is only a coincidence.

This is but the first of many inroads into the public system.

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