Some other thoughts occurred to me this week as I pondered the myriad of articles and information contained in http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2008/03/08/the-cute-cat-theory-talk-at-etech/ and particularly this section:
Kefaya activists were able to use mobile phone messages, some sent through Twitter, to alert activists to the impending arrest of Malek Moustafa. As activist came to the place where Moustafa was being taken into custody, they attracted a huge crowd of police, who effectively blocked the street and prevented the police car with Moustafa from leaving the street. He was eventually released. Corresponding with Alaa about the situation, he raises questions of whether this was really a victory for Twitter – this is something Egyptian activists have done with SMS for a long time. Twitter may simply be useful in confusing Egyptian authorities, who might choose to block local SMS in a crisis, but might not consider blocking an international SMS number.
If people can organize themselves in this fashion using electronic technology, it seems to me that the educational institution is not the only place that is undergoing scary changes these days.
This next statement may sound negative, not to mention paranoid, but lately I have begun to think that eventually a governmental system or some organization that has a lot of money and wants control will increase the cost of telephone service to the point that most people cannot afford to use it and common people will not have the same advantages as those who can pay for first-class service. If this happens, inevitably schools in poorer districts will feel the impact and will once again find themselves at the end of the pack.