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Chapter 13
Netiquette at School

Cyberspace has the potential to be a tremendous resource for students and teachers at all levels. The Internet was invented as a research tool, and it's been used at universities, especially by graduate students and professors, almost since its inception. Its use is now spreading downward to undergraduates, high school students, and even elementary schools.

And new uses pop up every day. There's a discussion group that functions as a support group for first-year teachers. Other discussion groups allow teachers in the same discipline to exchange ideas and teaching methods. At Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California, there's a class devoted solely to the Internet. College teachers encourage their students to do their research on the net.

Unfortunately, all this new net traffic can present problems. The Internet was designed for use by adult computer experts, not novices and children. Children, of course, rapidly become computer experts. But the openness of the Internet, which makes it so useful to all users, can also be problematic in several situations. Adults worry that children in the midst of more or less innocent net surfing may stumble across adult material not meant for their eyes. And novices can bombard experts with basic questions (violating Netiquette Rule 4, Respect other people's time).

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