A federal court rejected Stacy Snyder's argument that her MySpace page is considered free speech and should not be used to dismiss her from a college teacher-training program. A high school Snyder was student-teaching out had complaints about professionalism and content knowledge but asked she be dismissed after seeing a MySpace page which had pictures of her drinking and posts critizing her supervisor. Because Snyder was dismissed from the student-teaching program, she could not complete the requirements for an education degree. Because the judge considered Snyder's position with the high school more an aprenticeship rather than an educational pursuit, the school was within its right to dismiss Snyder over the MySpace page. Also, it probably did not help that Snyder told her student about the page too.
I always tell students two things about the Internet:
Don't post anything you would not want you mama to see.
The troubling economic conditions hit a little closer to home today when I received an e-mail from Pownce announcing their decision to close as of December 15th. I earlier wrote that I thought Pownce would be a great tool for teachers to use to reach out to both parents and students because of some neat features such as document attachments. Fortunately, the team at Pownce have found positions on the enginering team at Six Apart so they won't have to worry about this Christmas season.
Unfortunatley, this may be the first of other Web 2.0 applications that would be beneficial in the classroom or have become teacher favorites. Hopefully, when we get out of this economic mess the surviving Web 2.0 companies will be able to offer exciting applications for teachers and students. Until then we will just have to weather the storm by supporting each other as much as possible.