The Internet is an amazing tool for learning, but its use also adds additional management and safety concerns. The list below outlines some common concerns with students on the Internet and what teachers can do to keep surfing safe.
Internet Safety Concerns
- Posting distasteful photos/images/videos
- Searching for distasteful photos/images/videos
- Engaging in distasteful communication
- Communication with predators/bullies/scammers
- File sharing/copyright violations/fines/plagiarism
Tips for Monitoring Internet Safety
1. Clearly define “distasteful” photos/images/videos
Start by defining how distasteful images can make someone feel. Discuss what types of images are appropriate, and also discuss what a student should do if they find distasteful images.
2. Clearly define “distasteful” communication
Again because distasteful is a broad term that means different things to different people, it’s important to take a reading from all students in the classroom. Discuss conversation topics and comments that may bother others and what students should do if they find themselves involved in this type of communication.
3. Model and moderate social media communications
Get involved in your students online discussions. By moderating conversations, you can model the depth of conversation and how to keep things flowing so everyone feels like a participant.
4. Inform students on how to identify predators/bullies/and scammers
It’s as important to teach students how to behave online as it is to teach them what to look for. To teach these skills, share case studies, role play, or analyze scams.
5. Demonstrate how to cite resources, inform students about the consequences of copyright violation.
Review case studies of plagiarism so students understand the full consequences. Teach how to cite resources and how to include text or images from other sources. Reteach these skills when needed and require source citing consistently.