Online Safety

*This page was borrowed from Brian Mull's wiki page on Online Safety
It can no longer be a question of if we're going to let students use technology.
If we are still asking that question, we're in big trouble.

Technology is everywhere:
  • Friends houses
  • Cell phones
  • School

We are giving students way too much credit when it comes to the use of technology.
They understand or can quickly learn how to work the machines. It’s everything else
we need to help them with.

Remember those things called scissors?

Digital Citizenship [responsibility] is the new web safety
- Anne Collier

So What's Important?

Understanding the Medium
Jetpacks in LA, President Obama's trip to Asia (1) (2)

Self Representation
  • Who do we really want to be known as?
  • Building an online portfolio - Here's mine.

We need to all understand that once we post, we do lose a bit of control (Wayback Machine).

Being Open, Yet Ethical

National Center for Education Statistics, 2005 - 28% of students 12-18 years old
Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 2007 - 95% of students in grades 3-6
Pew Internet and American Life Project, June 27th, 2007 - 32% of all teenagers
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, 2010 - 25% of all K12 students, but 65% of teens
Josephson Institute of Ethics, 2010 - 50% of students have bullied others

  • Forwarding private messages or pictures without consent.
  • Harassment in email, text messages or on sites like Facebook.
  • Largely due to the viral effect viral effect and anonymity
  • Also stems from the society around us - not from the computers themselves.

What do we do?

  • Exercise common sense
  • Make technology use more meaningful and relevant in our schools

We have to look beyond fear. "It's sort of like discussing a field trip to New York City. Are you going to highlight
crime and the red light district or are you going to discuss the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Carnegie Hall?"
- Steven Maher

The tools that most school are blocking aren't the problem. Dollars for Darfur and Dollars for Darfur on MySpace

In today's read/write web environment problems usually occur as a mixture of:
  1. Parents - Not aware of what their kids are doing and not really asking questions.
  2. Teachers - Not aware of the tools available and/or not allowed to use them.
  3. Students - have access to many exciting resources, but haven't been educated in appropriate use.

We need to address each group so that there is understanding and consistency across the board.

Teach Literacy

Students should be taught that they can't believe everything they see online.

I like beginning by having groups of students compare sites and debate fact or fiction.

Tools to use AltaVista or Google Advanced Search and EasyWhois and Evolution

Learn to search more effectively.

Become Aware

Talk to kids and learn what they're doing. Get on Facebook, play a video game, record a podcast. Have them explain how their tools work and who they are interacting with.

Get excited. have kids teach you. Let them be the experts. Allow them to be bigger contributors in their classroom environment.

Create your own accounts.

Teach Parents How to Build a Safe, Constructive Environment

Filtering can be put in place with OpenDNS, K9 Web Protection, Kidzui.

Help kids develop their online identity. Manage privacy settings in Facebook, and help monitor risky behavior. Show kids how what we delete never REALLY goes away.

Give kids the opportunity to use tools for real work while also sharing what they do online (email, ustream, audioboo ChaCha).

Develop a Plan

As a faculty, start meeting to coordinate efforts. Share stories, questions and concerns.

Bring in parents, students, business leaders and safety experts.

Provide scenarios to spur discussion. (NL Scenarios and NetSmartz Scenarios)

Ask what is being blocked and why.

Develop a school/home/community Code of Ethics covering:
  • Web etiquette or Netiquette
  • Bullying
  • Inappropriate/private content posted online
  • Dealing with "friends" and strangers

Teach Students to Maintain Privacy

If you don't want the world to see it, Don't Post It.

Use good passwords and don't share them.
  • Add at least 6 to 8 characters
  • Use UPPER and lower case
  • Mix numbers and letters (or symbols!)
  • Do not spell a word

Discuss and Engage

Posting material online blows away the "slam book" because of the viral effect.
  • Through the power of RSS, hundreds of viewers can see what is posted. This can also be a safety strategy.

Discuss what information is safe to share and what is not. (Personal Information and Responses)

Again, use the scenarios to spur discussion. (NL Scenarios and NetSmartz Scenarios)

Model Appropriate Use

Invite community members in to demonstrate how they are using newer technologies in the workforce. (Powerpoint Example)

Provide students with motivating opportunities to demonstrate their use of tools. Make them real.

Use tools that have built in safety features.


More on Information Literacy from November Learning
David Warlick's list of online safety tips
Mark Wagner's Internet Awareness and Safety Wiki
Wired Safety
Internet Safety Day
Family Safe Computers
Sample Codes of Ethics - from a student, Horizon Project

Some other sites I still need to go through!!

Cyberbullying and Online Safety and Etiquette

Guidance Sites - Careers site

What are your thoughts?