Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. See main page for full contents

September 29, 2009


[][] I'm an author of middle-grade novels, and as such I have a lot of interaction with elementary school kids. . . I was setting up a phone call with a 4th-grade teacher and her class - they live a good thousand miles across the country from me. I let her know that I have Skype, so nobody needs incur any long-distance charges. Her response via e-mail just now: "Is there a way to Skype with us being able to see you, but you not being able to see us? Due to confidentiality and other school district guidelines, I am hoping this is a possibility." Truly, I am speechless. I'm just glad this won't be an in-person school visit, because it would be really awkward wearing a blindfold all day, lest I actually lay eyes on these kids.[][]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually, yes you can, simply if one party has a webcam while the other does not....

September 29, 2009 10:26 AM  
Blogger daver said...

...and actually, it's simply sensible privacy policy for each party to be able to decide independently whether to put themselves on video....

There are a lot of ways that the net is just different from live.

September 29, 2009 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Boffin said...

The teacher was, of course, following the law about distributing photographs of the students.

And she was smart to be suspicious of this writer, who seems to me to have no qualms about publishing foolish and disparaging things about others on the web.

September 29, 2009 11:37 AM  

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