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The first beta version of Firefox 3
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Fathers and Sons of the Digital Millennium: Another Brick in the Wall

The emergence of the Internet not only connected nations and continents in a globalized rush, but also inserted its small brick into the eternal wall separating fathers and children, as well as their teachers.

A few years ago, the author of these lines happened to study at a foreign university. In comparison with domestic institutions of this kind, that university was literally crammed with various kinds of high-tech means of facilitating student life.

And the Internet in this sense was perhaps the main help (especially if one considers that it was through the Network that one could quite legally gain access to one of the richest specialized databases in the USA).

Even though many students became acquainted with the Network only after hitting the walls of this university, after a couple of months of intimate communication, they learned how to use the Internet in full, starting with searching for materials for writing essays and “informal” communication with the outside world and scientific leaders, and ending with the application of this miracle of human genius as a highly intelligent crib.

And yet, there was one serious problem that significantly reduced the effectiveness of the educational process: unfortunately, some teachers (especially those who were born almost during the Great Depression of the thirties of the last century), to put it mildly, did not quite correctly Internet capabilities and limitations.
The most optimistic of them, who considered themselves technically advanced, sincerely mistaken, considering that any document created by man since the invention of writing can really be found on the Web. And the most backward could not even open the file attached to the email.

The most terrible thing began during the sessions, when students suddenly remembered that in a week they had to pass their course papers, and she had not even started yet. On such days at the entrances to the computer halls lined up long queues.

As it turned out, over the past years, the problem has not only not resolved, but has even become even more acute. The results of a sociological survey conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project showed that American teenagers are extremely dissatisfied with the level of technical literacy of their teachers and the quality of communication available in school walls.

Teachers are still not fully oriented on the Internet, sending their wards either to long-closed sites or to sites that do not contain the necessary information. Some of the servers, the content of which, according to the competent authorities, can damage the weak child’s psyche, are still blocked.
And it seems that the list of servers listed in the black list every year becomes more voluminous and its growth rate is clearly ahead of the growth rate of the number of documents in the network.

In general, the problem of the “digital divide”, which appeared more than a dozen years ago, remains one of the important points that nullifies all the advantages of virtual reality. It remains only to wait for today’s children to become adults, and their teachers will retire and stop, finally, insert sticks in the wheels of scientific and technological progress. Although, there is a suspicion that by that time we will be recorded in our reactionaries too. Progress in fact is not worth it.

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