Approaching Internet Safety in the Classroom

If we are going to be using this technology in the classroom, educators should be thinking about teaching ways to use the internet safely and responsibly. Likely this wouldn’t be the first time a child has been exposed to the internet, and it is hoped that parents have gone over safety concerns with their children. But much like sex education, often this is left up to the education system.
Not only children but all users can leave themselves open to thieves by sharing too much information. Posting dates, vacation pictures and the like on social media might leave one open for getting broken into. Full names, social security numbers, attaching these things to our public internet profile can lead to identity theft.
Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Morgan, spokesman on burglary for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: “Social networking has become a part of everyday life. Unfortunately there are some individuals who use it as a means of gathering information to commit crime. Users of social networking sites need to be aware of this and use caution when telling people where they are, or posting messages about valuables on their possession or in their homes.

There are other dangers as well, more of the kind that can haunt you longer than just having your possessions stolen. Before handing the internet over in the classroom to students, Educators should instill the mindset that what you put on the internet is public  and permanent. This video on internet safety for elementary school children does a great job of warning children that what goes on their devices, as well as their friends devices, can be used for either self destruction or for good things, like communication. The internet needs to be treated respectfully as a tool, much like fire, that can help or hurt.
Remind students that IF you wouldn’t want a comment, action or picture about yourself published in the local newspaper for just anyone to see, then don’t put it on your blog.
Yet…. teenagers. This is a big time for socially, experimentation, sexuality and stupid mistakes. SFgate.com tells us that “From behind their bedroom doors, more than 1 out of every 10 teenagers has posted a nude or seminude picture of themselves or others online – a “digital tattoo” that could haunt them for the rest of their lives, according to a poll being released today.”

There needs to be training for these kids that what you put on there is not as private as you would like. Will an embarrassing or compromising bit of internet foolishness absolutely be spread to everyone you know? Maybe not but it could be! We should all be mindful what the internet is Public, Permanent, but not Private. You wouldn’t want your teacher or your uncle or your mom seeing your nudies, you probably shouldn’t out it out there.

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