How responsible are educators for teaching Internet safety?

With the rise in popularity of social websites such as Myspace and Xanga, there has been increasing controversy about the educator’s role and responsibility in teaching Internet safety. I had a brief conversation this morning with one of the district technology coordinators for my school district, and he asked me to begin thinking about how I think our district should systematically address some of the problems we have encountered… improper images in Google image search, explicit entries in Wikipedia, inappropriate and indecent student postings on Myspace, etc.

My initial reaction to his request is that I do not want our district and our educators to become the laptop and Internet “police”, and I do not want to spend my time chastising students. I certainly do not want the district to “block” student access to useful tools simply because some students use them inappropriately. Let’s face it, we can block websites and restrict programs, but if the students want to access these items, they will figure out a way to do it.

I think the key to eradicating the problem lies in education itself. As an educational community, we have to train the students as to what is safe and appropriate, and in addition, we have to educate the community and parents about the Internet and technology in general. Parents need to be aware of what their children are doing on the Internet and how to discuss safety concerns and appropriate Internet behavior. So, now we just need to figure out how we get there… logistically how do we educate our teachers, parents and students about these concerns?

Delegate William H. Fralin, Jr. of Virginia has authored a bill suggesting that Internet Safety be taught in schools. I agree that it needs to be taught. I just do not know where to teach it. I hate to ask teachers who are already working diligently to add one more subject to their list of topics to teach, but then again, Internet safety is much more relevant than some of the information educators are expected to teach their students. So, I suppose we are just going to have to squeeze it in somewhere between dangling participles and thermal expansion

From what I gathered from my brief conversation this morning, my district is leaning towards using resources from I-Safe as a foundation for teaching Internet safety. I currently know very little about Internet safety curricula, so I would appreciate any effective resources any of you are aware of. I would also appreciate in thoughts you have about how to begin implementing Internet safety training at school and in the community.

Explore posts in the same categories: Internet Safety, Myspace

2 Comments on “How responsible are educators for teaching Internet safety?”

  1. Jamie Says:

    Just searching on google and found your site. It was ranked fairly high on google to. Anyway just looking around to see why.

  2. […] My grades are going up, so what does it matter if I’m on MySpace? Posted on January 8, 2010 by jeremy Image source: […]

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