Many parents have chosen to filter their child's internet access at home. They may do this by utilizing the settings options on their computer or selecting specific tools that their child can use. They also provide supervision. Teachers are charged with providing the same safety. The only difference is that we provide supervision for up to 30 students at once. What can teachers do to maintain a safe, web 2.0 classroom as well as a technologically advanced setting?
Schools provide firewall and filter servers that will block a lot of inappropriate content. Each school should also have a policy or set of procedures that teachers can utilize to unblock certain items. Check with your school's administration and technology committee on the official policy of your building. Become familiar with which sites need to be blocked and those that can be opened for use in the classroom. You can also let the powers that be know about inappropriate content that has found its' way through your system.
Know Your Resources
There are a lot of resources and alternatives that can provide you with the same learning experiences but in a safe setting. For example, if your students are too young to utilize Facebook, join Edmodo or ScuttlePad. If YouTube is blocked, utilize SchoolTube or TeacherTube. Wordpress and Blogger are often not accessible, however Edublogs and KidBlog are usually open to students. If you can find a blocked resource, there is usually a safer version for student use. The same goes for web-surfing. There are numerous child-safe browsers available, including iPad applications.
Parents and teachers monitor children in un-safe situations everyday. My children are watched very closely on field trips to ensure safety. I would also provide supervision while children are on a virtual fieldtrip or exploring the internet. Children should be monitored while accessing resources online.
Resources for Teachers
• Social Networking
- Education World: Getting Started on the Internet: Safe Surfing. (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2012, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr073.shtml
- Education World: Social Networking Tips for Teachers. (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2012, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech256.shtml
- Education World: The Internet Safety Debate. (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2012, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr070.shtml
- Education World: Using Technology In The Classroom. (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2012, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/archives/technology.shtml
- Need to Know: Internet Safety in the Classroom : Internet Safety. (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2012, from http://www.surfnetkids.com/go/safety/57/need-to-know-internet-safety-in-the-classroom/
- Privacy Playground. (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2012, from http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/games/privacy_playground/
- Social Networking for Kids. (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2012, from http://www.commonsensemedia.org/website-lists/social-networking-kids
- Social Networking: TheirSpace | Edutopia. (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2012, from http://www.edutopia.org/whats-next-2007-school-social-networking
- TeachersFirst’s Internet Safety Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2012, from http://www.teachersfirst.com/spectopics/safety.cfm
- Webonauts Internet Academy | PBS KIDS GO! (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2012, from http://pbskids.org/webonauts/