As Will Richardson states in Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, student safety is about far more than simply not publishing full names and pictures. Instead, “safety is now about responsibility, appropriateness, and common sense as well (Ch. 1, “Keeping Students Safe”, paragraph 1).” Richardson relates an incident that occurred in his classroom where a student accidentally chanced upon an inappropriate site. However, due to the time spent in class teaching students that “responsible” means more than avoiding irresponsible sites, but also reacting in an appropriate manner when coming across inappropriate sites, the situation was a teaching moment, not the “phone call to the office” that it could have been.
Among the many “common sense” things that have fallen to teachers to teach is the appropriate and responsible use of the internet by students. During my research of sites available, the following useful conseils appeared:
- “Every piece of information you post, and every action you take online has commercial value to someone (Washington State Office of the Attorney General, 2008).”
Most people think about the “private” information that they may or may not reveal. But it’s important to remember that anything posted by or about someone can help to reveal that person’s identity. If privacy is important, students need to be sure that they take that into consideration before posting. Also, they need to know to let their friends know what is and what is not okay to say about them.
- “Cyber bullying refers to cruel or bullying messages sent to you online. These might be from former friends or other people you know (Dowshen).”
The general idea of “cyber bullying” is threatening messages. However, it is important to know that any mean or bullying messages sent online is considered cyber bullying. If it happens, students need to know that it is not okay and how to go about reporting it.
- “Teens may not realize that what they post sets their reputation. Other people might judge them based on their profiles. It’s not just inappropriate photos that put them at risk. Teens might also post references to underage drinking and engage in mean-spirited chat. As kids get older, stuff they’ve posted in the past can reappear. According to a 2008 Kaplan survey, 10% of college admissions officers at the nation’s top 500 colleges looked at applicants’ social networking profiles. 38% of them said that what they saw “negatively affected” their opinion of the applicant (Common Sense Media, 2012).”
I don’t actually have anything to add here. They say it all, and say it pretty clearly.
Common Sense Media. (2012, March 19). Internet safety tips for high school kids. Retrieved from http://www.commonsensemedia.org/advice-for-parents/internet-safety-tips-high-school-kids
Dowshen, S. (2011). Retrieved from http://kidshealth.org/teen/safety/safebasics/internet_safety.html
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms. (3rd ed.). Corwin Press.
Washington State Office of the Attorney General. (2008). Internet safety - teens. Retrieved from http://www.atg.wa.gov/InternetSafety/Teens.aspx