Friday, February 26, 2010

Internet safety: Whose job to teach kids about it?

I thought this was a pretty interesting article. It never occurred to me that teaching Internet safety wasn’t everyone’s responsibility! If students are using the Internet in school, then it should be mandatory to include cyber-security and cyber-ethics discussions in every classroom that uses the technology. Parents are not exempt from the responsibility either, regardless of how much their child uses the Internet at home.

I think it’s a shame that adults are arguing over responsibility about an issue with such serious consequences. In this case, no one should make any assumptions that another party is doing the job. Redundant warnings (from home and school) will only reinforce the importance of responsible Internet use.

According to a survey referenced in the article, only about a quarter of teachers, administrators and technology coordinators addressed Internet safety issues such as how to respond to online harassment and the seriousness of sexting –those numbers are entirely too low and considering how long we have been hearing stories of Internet abuse, I’m really surprised that there hasn’t been a strong nationwide movement. The article also points out that setting up filters is not enough – students can find their way around those. So it’s important to talk frequently with students on the subject.

Nancy Willard is the director of The Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use which is a website that is dedicated to issues concerning technology safety and houses many valuable articles, professional resources and cyber-bully specific resources that can help parents and teachers get involved with Internet abuse prevention and intervention.

This is definitely an issue where educators, parents and students alike need to step up and take responsibility.

1 comment:

  1. I agree- it is a shame that people are arguing about who has the responsibility of teaching internet safety. I think it comes back to a lack of responsibility from the household- something we will all have to deal with.