Thursday, October 12, 2006

Internet Safety: Why Blogs Rule

This past Tuesday a fellow teacher and I presented the Wyoming Internet Safety Program for Parents. To get ready, I spent my summer completing the online training for iSafe certification. Throughout the modules one theme continued to surface: the key to keeping our kids safe online is erecting walls between them and contacts with predators. When predators can make contact with kids and develop a relationship with them, trouble follows.

There are two ways to keep them from kids: educating our students on intelligent use of the social Internet and providing them with safe access as well. It's the latter that I feel responsible for as a teacher who is determined to use the read/write web in my classroom.

Here are two tips for providing students with safe access to the Internet. Any social software that you plan to use in class should have the following:
  1. Unpublished profiles, or no profiles at all, thus making it impossible to learn more about the student than his or her first username and maybe school.
  2. A closed community of users making it impossible for outsiders to contact students and develop a relationship with them.
So how do blogs fit in here? Check out 21Publish and learn how to create a closed blog-based community. With 21Publish, you are the adminstrator and you control who can join and who can comment. You're the boss.

After my studies, I added some information to my community for parents to read on the safety of the site. You can read it in this post from my classroom blog.

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Digital Cameras in the Classroom | Blogs in the Classroom | Technology in the Classroom

1 comment:

jackie meggie said...

Internet Safety is something that our children/students can never get enough of. This is an article that I can very much relate to for my computer lab students and all students in general.