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With its easily obtainable wealth of information, the Internet has proven to be both a boon and a challenge for today's public schools. Teachers can download lesson plans and participate in online professional development courses; students can access new research and chat with other students around the world. But with technological innovation come legal pitfalls, where issues such as free expression, privacy, and copyright take on a whole new dimension.
The Internet and the Law: What Educators Need to Know provides a clear and in-depth discussion of the key legal issues public schools face in using the Web, e-mail, and other computer technologies. As an educator and an attorney, Kathleen Conn brings a unique and informed perspective to this changing arena, succinctly identifying and examining major risks for schools and the specific case law that shapes these issues, including:
* First Amendment protection for teachers and students,
* Filtering and blocking technology for obscene material,
* Use of students' personal information and education records,
* Downloading and storing of copyrighted material,
* Fair use,
* Defamation in Internet communications, and
* E-mail harassment.
To help educators handle these issues, Conn offers sound advice in developing policies that comply with the law while safeguarding the school or district. As the use of technology in schools continues to evolve, teachers, administrators, and school staff must stay aware of the law that governs it. The Internet and the Law provides the solid legal grounding that every educator needs.
Kathleen Conn is a K-12 curriculum supervisor in the West Chester Area School District in Pennsylvania. She received her Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College and her J.D. from Widener University School of Law. Conn is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar.
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