Asking Your Kids’ Principal about Internet Security

Handy Device

A few weeks ago, Donna Sawyer shared with us some characteristics of a responsible Internet safety program at schools. Today, she follows up with questions to ask the school principals about Internet safety.

  • Do you point students to child-friendly, copyright-free sources for images and video, rather than setting them loose on open source search engines?
  • Are students taught how to craft savvy search statements and use advanced search strategies to locate quality information sources?
  • Are students taught critical thinking?
  • Do you know when the district will make Internet Safety policies public or where parents can access minutes of the meeting where they talked about the policy?
  • Can you help me better understand the school’s Acceptable Use Policy and Internet Safety Policy?
  • What problems does the school Internet filter present in the classroom? Why?
  • If teachers are unhappy with a blocked Web site, what is the procedure for having it unblocked? Who is involved in evaluating the online material that teachers request to be unblocked?
  • Do teachers know how to build collections of free quality educational videos or Web sites, even if the district filter blocks access to them? For example, if YouTube is blocked, do teachers know how they can build rich collections of grade-level YouTube videos, bypassing inappropriate YouTube content?
  • How can I help as a parent?

Would you add any questions or concerns about Internet safety in schools? We’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments.

For even more from Donna, read "School Technology Problems" in our August 2011 issue.

Photo used with permission of Flickr Creative Commons. Click on photo for source.

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