How easy would it be for your children to see Internet content they’re blocked from at home at their school? Donna Sawyer tackles "School Technology Problems" in our August issue. Here are some more tips from her.
Characteristics of a Responsible Internet Safety Program
- A balanced approach to using online resources emphasizes guidance in showing students how to safely navigate the Web. Teachers select sites which support the curriculum and point students toward developmentally appropriate information sources, which have been evaluated and proven valuable for classroom use.
- Teachers receive quality training in how to equip youth (and others) to safely, responsibly, and productively use technology. This training incorporates knowledge from child development research to support the development of the whole child, ensuring their academic as well as their emotional, social, and physical development.
- Students receive in-depth training in online safety and digital citizenship before gaining access to the Web.
- Students are acquainted with consequences for misuse of technology, which address the child’s need for direction instead of treating technology as a reward that should be taken away. For example, rather than merely removing the child’s access to technology, the school responds proactively.
- There are dynamic community outreach activities where local businesses show parents how to set parental controls for cell phones, gaming devices, or computers at the point of sale and parents are trained to guide their children’s use of the Internet, with a focus on appropriate ways to monitor safe use of the Internet.
- Procedures are in place for parents and students to indicate they will share responsibility for ethical and responsible use of school technology.
- The school staff models appropriate use of technology and firmly enforces reasonable age-appropriate standards for online behavior at the beginning of the school year.
- The school uses subscription-based social networking tools (e-mail, blogs, wikis, etc.) with no ads and a full range of protection features.
What do you think about Internet usage in your kids’ schools?
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