Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Law involved with student who tries to crash computer system

http://www.wkyc.com/akron/akron_article.aspx?storyid=45721

There is a video of the news item as well.

I guess you can break anything and if the student had tried to get others to push against a railing or somthing to see how easily it could break it is really the same thing.

A server failing is fairly short term though I would think. The server gets overloaded and crashes. Reset the server and things are fine again.

There was nothing in the story about helping the student learn about how to test boundaries in an acceptable way. There was nothing about letting everyone know that it is inappropriate to try and break soenmthing that people need and are using. It all sounded rather punitive and nothing in the story seemed to be educational (as I would expect from a school). Sometimes involving the law is needed to get the point home.

I don't mind helping kids test the limits provided that we can do it when there is not going to be an issue for others. That's just good responsible science.

I think I will use this story and video as a discussion starter in some of my classes. The story is extreme and the student could have used far more sophisticated techniques to bring down the server. It is the principle that I want discussed and so an extreme story like this should get the jaws moving and the brain working.

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