Keep your students safe online

Posted: November 1, 2010 in Uncategorized

Just as the internet is an exciting place full of opportunities, it is also full of danger. As educators it is not only our responsibility to expose students to new things, but also to make sure that they’re safe. Fortunately, keeping students safe online is mostly a matter of common sense, good supervision, setting limits, and communication.

  • Dedicate a class to what is expected of your students while they are online, and make sure you enforce the rules. If your school has an IT acceptable use policy make sure that your students (and their parents) have signed it and that they understand the consequences of behaving irresponsibly.
  • Make sure that you are aware of what your school allows and forbids when it comes to online learning. Some schools do not allow pictures of students or their full names to be posted online (for obvious reasons).
  • Make sure that you are always present when students are on the internet in your class to ensure that they are staying on task and that they aren’t looking at inappropriate websites.
  • Read the privacy policy of any website that you are using for your students. I give preference to websites that my students don’t have to register for or provide any personal information.
  • Ensure that any website you are using does not allow confidential information to be readily available to the online world.
  • Students should only communicate online with people who the teacher is aware of (if you are using Scribblar, for example, only students participating in the project should be part of the collaboration).
  • Parents should always be aware of what their kids are doing online. Stay in contact with them!
  • Be aware of (and educate yours students about) cyber-bullying. Consequences should be just as severe as bullying in the classroom.
  • Thoroughly review any websites that you are going to require your students to use or that you are going to show your students.

Other resources:

Cyber safety for teachers

A bunch of links on internet safety

Safety tips for podcasting

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