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School of Education

Societal Issues

After completing this module, you will be able to:


Until now this course has touted the great advantages of multimedia. Almost any good thing can be misused, however; how can multimedia harm society? Follow this link to violence and the V-Chip to learn more.


The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) has created an open, objective, content rating system called ICRA. It provides users with information about the level of sex, nudity, violence, vulgarity, or hate-motivated language in software games and Web sites. Parents and teachers can set the level at which to block offensive content. To learn how to set the level at which content will be blocked, follow this link to ICRA.


In her fascinating book Life on the Screen, Sherry Turkle describes what it is like to participate in Multi User Domains or MUDs, which are virtual spaces in which you can navigate, strategize, and converse with other users. Turkle views MUDs as a new kind of parlor game and a new form of community that lets people generate experiences, relationships, identities, and living spaces that arise only through interaction with technology. Follow this link to find Multi User Domains online.

Internet Addiction

The Internet can be addicting, so much so that the term Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) has entered the medical lexicon. For more information about Internet Addiction Disorder, follow these links to virtual addiction and the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery.


The Internet can compromise your privacy in a number of subtle ways. To find out how, follow this link to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Privacy Page.

Fair Use

Fair Use is a section of the U.S. Copyright Law that allows the use of copyrighted works in reporting news, conducting research, and teaching. Stanford University's Copyright & Fair Use Center is an excellent place to learn about the issues involved. See especially the Fair Use and Copyright Guidelines and Policies.


People with high incomes are twenty times more likely than low income families to have access to the Internet, and more than nine times as likely to have a computer at home. We still have a long way to go before achieving equal access. To learn more about these issues and to find out how you can get involved, follow this link to the digital divide.


A consortium of research universities is conducting a project called Internet2. The goal is to create a higher speed version of the Internet that will revolve around a high-speed connection point called the Gigapop. Strategically placed throughout the network, Gigapops will guarantee high-speed bandwidth between universities implementing the Internet2 standards. To find out the current status, follow this link to Internet2.