In a world filled with technology there is a new type of digital citizenship and internet safety. As educators that use technology we need to help students learn how to interact in a digital world. Many students feel invincible online and that nothing can happen to them as they do not have any direct interaction with others. It is important to teach students how to be safe on the Internet.
Finding Appropriate Materials
The Internet is a vast resource of many different materials and resources. The Internet is filled with many wonderful resources and capabilities and it is also filled with very inappropriate websites as well. It is very easy to access inappropriate content on the Internet even by accident and we need to protect students from this material. To protect students most school have installed a firewall or filtering software on individual computers or the district network. (Roblyer, 2016, p. 174) We need to remember that no software is perfect. Even with protection students and teachers may accidentally come across inappropriate material. In an efforts to protect students and teachers some service also limit what resources, even though appropriate, that teachers can access. In the classroom it is the teachers responsibility to check all sites before sending students to any website.
Privacy for Student
Many students are on social networking sites that are designed to bring people together and to share information. These sites ask for a lot of personal information that students unknowingly provide. Social networking is a great way to connect with people, but we all need to be cautious. According to Roblyer the following our things we need to consider when using social network and student privacy
- Online Predators – Student tend to believe whatever they are told while they are online. We need to teach students that not everyone online is who they say they are. People can lie about who they are online to have conversations and meet people. Students need to know that they should never meet with anyone in person that they have met online because there is no guarantee that they are who they claim to be.
- Sales Pitches – There are ads on many websites online that students will come across as they are on the Internet. Especially on home computers parents need to be careful about students having access to credit card information automatically to buy from ads.
- Privacy Issues – Teachers need to be careful about what student information is placed online that can link back to students. Teachers should avoid using both student first and last names to identify students online and to help protect their privacy. Cookies help to personalize web experiences, but cookies are also used to track behavior on the Internet (175).
- Cyberbullying – This is a major concern with the explosion of students on social media networks. Many students feel anonymous and protected online. Without face-to-face contact students say more offensive and public comments online to bully other students. Teachers and counselors need to be aware of cyberbullying and help students to be aware of the problem.
For more online resources about privacy and protection online check out InternetSafety
Viruses and Hacking
Viruses and malicious software are designed to hack and steal information online. You can download a virus or other malicious software without knowing. Viruses can take personal information and slow down a computer’s processing speed. Many e-mail attachments can contain viruses that neither the sender nor receiver are aware of. Before opening any e-mail attachments or downloading files from the Internet you need to make sure that you trust and know what you are downloading. You can also protect yourself against malicious viruses by using a virus scanner or malware bytes.
Everything that goes online is saved and stays online. We all create a digital footprint or trail of from our social media interactions (Roblyer, 2016, p.176). Every picture, tweet, and post is saved online and can be accessed. We need to teach students that they are creating a digital footprint that will follow them throughout their life. The information that is posted online can be accessed at later times and will continue to follow both teachers and student’s throughout their lives.
For more information go to CommonSense Media
Roblyer, M. (2016). Integrating educational technology into teaching (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Education.