Richardson (2010) contends, that teachers can do many things to keep students safe on the Internet. First, educators must teach their students what’s acceptable and safe, and what not. Secondly, teachers can plan ahead by discussing Internet safety with their students and having the appropriate information in hand. Most schools have Internet filtering, but there are times when students can get around that. Monitoring what the students are doing online, rather than letting them surf the net without restrictions is just another way we can ensure students are being safe and displaying the habits of good digital citizens. Lastly, setting high expectations for technology use and modeling Internet Safety in my own practice will help students understand and uphold their moral compasses while maintaining discipline in their conduct on the Read/Write Web (Richardson, 2010).
I teach daily using a blended learning model, and fifty percent of the day the students use personal laptops or a student desktop to receive instruction. At times, I see other teachers allow their student to surf the net without restrictions. This has led to students downloading music, accessing inappropriate sites, and leads to loss of instructional time. If teachers become more aware of Internet safety and appropriate use, while teaching and modeling the expectations, a lot of situations can be minimized if not avoided in classrooms, especially when technology use is abundant. The ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) website offered an abundant amount of instructional resources, support and technology standards for students and educators. I found and posted the NETS-S technology standards in my classroom, so my students could review them frequently, and know what is expected of them. Moreover, I will periodically explain to my class the characteristics of great digital citizens, and show them how to share, publish and download safely on the web in my daily pedagogical practices. I also have also collaborated with my current LSTC, so that she can share the information on the ISTE site with teachers and staff on her Tech-Tuesday Professional Learning technology presentations.
Another website I found to be informative for my students and peer colleagues was Digital Citizenship: Rights, Roles & Responsibility in a Digital Society. Reviewing this website gave me great insight on rights and responsibilities, digital etiquette, and security of the Read/Write Web. I also found great lessons to complete with my students, resources on Internet safety, and websites such as Brainpop with hands on activities that could be used with middle school students. In addition, I could use this site to teach students about publishing content to the web safely, using weblogs and social media, and understanding the dangers of Internet predators, sexting and cyberbullying. I will be sharing this information with my students and staff as soon as possible, because a lot of educators in my local district are not informed on Internet safety. As a transforming technology coach, I look forwarding to guiding teachers in the right direction in fair and safe use of the Internet to ensure exceptional teaching and learning while utilizing technology, as well as making students aware of the dangers of the Read/Write Web as 21st century digital pioneers.
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms. (3rd ed.). Thousand Oak, California: Corwin.
Here are some tips for Safe Internet Use on the Read/Write Web:
- Be careful what you publish on the Internet. Sometimes it is not so easy to hit the backspace or delete button on digital media.
- Take the Digital Citizenship pledge to hold yourself accountable for your actions and behaviors when using the Internet.
- Surf the Internet Responsibility and become more familiar with digital etiquette.
- Understand the difference between plagiarisms and copyrighting.
- Use the technology standards posted in my classroom to know what is expected of you.
- Know that technology use is a great thing and welcomed, only if you possess the knowledge to keep yourself safe.