I wanted to post something on Internet Safety for parents, then hesitated. I am not sure where we are as a staff or what we are doing in a planful way to promote Internet safety in our classes, thus my indecisiveness.
Instead, I am posting to colleagues. Yes, parents have asked about Internet safety and ways to block Facebook. Yes, some students have been exposed to cyber bullying; we’ve heard the offender’s first response when confronted, “I was just joking.”
We agree that cyber bullying is unacceptable. Yes, we are also trying to protect student identity and have made attempts to work through blogging ‘netiquette’. But what is our position when it comes to other Internet safety issues associated with 21st century teaching and learning? Are we all on the same page when it comes to cyber safety, cyber ethics, copyright and fair use, social networking, and game system/website parental control? I see the information other schools are creating to help students, teachers and parents become more “cyber smart” and I wish we had something similar.
With an organized Internet Safety informational center in the back of my mind, I have added a new category of links “Internet Safety” to the right sidebar of our PLN. Freely add your own links to the list. By working together we can pool our resources and just maybe a future committee will find the information useful in the creation of an online school “Cyber Safety” blog, a place for us to be on the same page, so to speak.:)
Below are six wide-ranged resources spanning the scope of Internet safety issues. Click on the titles to visit the sites mentioned.
An information site on understanding the risks of Internet safety in Washington State. “ Because of the rapid growth of the Internet, governments have not yet been able to create a full set of standards and laws.” The site does outline, “three key responsibilities (that) lie firmly in the domain of government.”
“Cybersmart provides activities, resources and practical advice to help young kids, kids, teens and parents safely enjoy the online world.” Seems for some time now, the Australian government has has set aside quite a lot of money to work on cyber safety initiatives.
MouseMail is a commercial product that provides early detection to warn parents of potential abuse and inappropriate content shared and received through technical devices. It is not spyware. Dr. Bill Bennett, former Secretary of Education, is one of the Senior advisers. Parents pay for this software.
This page of Facebook addresses safety for: educators, law enforcers, parents and teens. A good reference if you have not read it or are not signed into Facebook.
This page from the Elk Grove Unified School District in CA has lots of links for educators, parents and students.
Yes, I previously worked for this school district; my ears really perked up when I saw the Edublogger link , 2WebWatchers, and read “an interactive forum committed to informing the EGUSD community of students, parents, teachers, and administrators about the safe, effective, and ethical use of the Internet”. Note the word, ethical.
“The Elk Grove Unified School District is committed to supporting 21st century teaching and learning. Given the pace at which new Web 2.0 tools emerge, such as blogs, wikis, and podcasts, district staff recognized the need to implement a comprehensive program to teach the safe, effective, and ethical use of these digital age technologies to staff, students, and parents. With that in mind, in 2008, EGUSD created an Internet Safety Program.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had an interactive community Internet Safety blog just like this one?