The Internet is a vast source of information — some good and some bad. If your children learn to use it wisely, they can be safe while using the Internet for all the resources it has to offer. Like an infinite library, the Web can take you to the ends of the earth with the information it contains.
But parents need to be vigilant about the many dangers this access poses for their children. Because kids today are often much more savvy about these new communication techniques than their parents, their knowledge and habits can be intimidating to parents.
The Internet has immense potential to improve the quality of education, which is one of the pillars of sustainable development. This Internet Society briefing outlines ways in which policymakers can unlock that potential through an enabling framework for access to the Internet. It sets out five priorities for policymakers: infrastructure and access, vision and policy, inclusion, capacity,. Educational Technology. HyperDocs: A Tool for Student-Centered Learning. Robotics and Coding Tools You Can Use in the Classroom. Educational Technology. 5 Advantages of a 1:1 Teaching Environment. Virtual Reality vs Augmented Reality in the Classroom. Educational Technology. How to Organize & Clean Your Tech Devices.
It is not always easy to know when and how to step in. However, in order to keep our children safe, we still need to:
- protect them,
- set limits,
- and impose rules and consequences.
- Open Educational Resources (OER) are open-license materials (freely accessible) that can be used for teaching and learning. OER can be defined as: “teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.
- Technology has done more to change school curriculum and practices than nearly anything else—and in such a short amount of time! While it can be hard to keep up with every trend in educational technology, the mindset you have when it comes to classroom tech matters just as much as which ones you use.
- The goal of the Educational Technology Department is to create an online resource to assist Salt Lake City School District Employees enhance instruction, further their education, and promote life-long learning through online and face to face classes.
Although children and teens often may know more about the technology, they do not always have the judgment to make wise decisions when it comes to use of the internet and all the new communication devices now at their disposal.
Simple surfing and messaging with friends are common activities for kids — and generally safe, if you’ve discussed some rules of use with them.
Chatting with strangers, however, may be a different story. Although there’s no way to know the actual risk, the FBI cautions that kids whose Internet activity isn’t monitored are most at risk for being exploited.
Here are a few suggestions that can guide you to help your child get the most out of these new technologies while still keeping them safe and helping them to improve their judgment.
Become computer literate. Have your children show you what they are doing on line, spend some time learning the ins/outs of the programs. If you are still not comfortable, ask or hire an older child to teach you.
Keep the computer in a common area where you can watch and monitor your kids. Avoid putting a computer in a child’s bedroom.
Have your child turn in to you all mobile devices at night.
Share an email account with younger children. That way, you can monitor who is sending them messages.
Bookmark your child’s favorite sites. Your child will have easy access and be less likely to make a typo that could lead to inappropriate content.
Spend time online together. Teach your kids appropriate online behavior, including information about cyber bullying, ‘netiquette’ and being respectful and kind while online. Visit their favorite internet sites with them.
- Monitor kids’ use of social networking sites such as Facebook, Instgram, etc. Be aware of what information is being revealed and what information can unknowingly identify your child.
Find out about online protection elsewhere. Find out what, if any, online protection is offered at school, after-school centers, friends’ homes, or anyplace where kids could use a computer without your supervision.
Consider installing parental control filtering software and/or tracking programs, which also can help you protect your children from online predators and inappropriate adult content. But don’t rely only on these tools. Kids benefit most from direct conversations with their parents.
Have open lines of communication
Talk regularly with your children about internet use, the online activities they are involved with and the sites they visit.
Be direct, straightforward and assertive but not aggressive or confrontational.
Let your children know what your concerns are. You can use “I” messages to communicate your concerns, such as “I am worried about you posting pictures on that site because it isn’t secure and strangers can see it.”
Talk to them about the dangers of interacting with strangers online and remind them that people online often don’t tell the truth.
Encourage your children to tell you if anyone they meet online tries to get personal information from them or says things that make them feel uncomfortable.
Tell your children that in order to keep them safe, you will periodically check their internet activity. This isn’t snooping or spying, and isn’t about your trust or lack of trust in them; it is about having rules to help assure their safety.
Set up and communicate clearly what the family rules are (which you should also follow) regarding internet use, such as:
Limit the amount of ‘screen time’ that you child is allowed.
The first rule of smart surfing is to remain as anonymous as possible. That means keeping all private information private. Most credible people and companies will never ask for this type of information online. So if someone does, it’s a red flag that they may be up to no good.
Do not share any personal information online, including name, address, name of school, phone number, credit card numbers, social security number, passwords, or names of family members. Use only a screen name.
Never trade personal photographs through the mail or over the Internet.
Never agree to meet anyone in person that he/she has met online.
Never respond to a threatening email or message.
Always tell a parent about any online communication or conversation that was scary or made the child feel uncomfortable.
If your child has a new “friend,” insist on being “introduced” online to that friend.
Report to your local police if your child:
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gets involved in a social networking situation that makes him or you feel uncomfortable or in danger for any reason,
has received pornography via the Internet or has been the target of an online sex offender.
Also, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website www.missingkids.com has a form for reporting this type of incident called CyberTipline. They will then see that the information is forwarded to law enforcement officials for investigation.
Warning signs of a child being targeted by an online predator include:
- spending long hours online, especially at night,
- receiving phone calls from people you don’t know,
- unsolicited gifts arriving in the mail.
If your child suddenly turns off the computer when you walk into the room, ask why and monitor computer time more closely. Other signs to watch for are withdrawal from family life and reluctance to discuss online activities.
Although it is important to respect the privacy of children and youth, safety may sometimes trump these privacy concerns. Be sure to let your children know that if you are concerned about their internet use, you will review their on-line communications. You can use this as an opening for a discussion about internet safety and internet use in general.
Taking an active role in your kids’ Internet activities will help ensure that they benefit from the wealth of valuable information it offers without being exposed to any potential dangers.
<additional online resources on Media and Internet Safety
Technology has impacted almost every aspect of life today, and education is no exception. Or is it? In some ways, education seems much the same as it has been for many years. A 14th century illustration by Laurentius de Voltolina depicts a university lecture in medieval Italy. The scene is easily recognizable because of its parallels to the modern day. The teacher lectures from a podium at the front of the room while the students sit in rows and listen. Some of the students have books open in front of them and appear to be following along. A few look bored. Some are talking to their neighbors. One appears to be sleeping. Classrooms today do not look much different, though you might find modern students looking at their laptops, tablets, or smart phones instead of books (though probably open to Facebook). A cynic would say that technology has done nothing to change education.
However, in many ways, technology has profoundly changed education. For one, technology has greatly expanded access to education. In medieval times, books were rare and only an elite few had access to educational opportunities. Individuals had to travel to centers of learning to get an education. Today, massive amounts of information (books, audio, images, videos) are available at one’s fingertips through the Internet, and opportunities for formal learning are available online worldwide through the Khan Academy, MOOCs, podcasts, traditional online degree programs, and more. Access to learning opportunities today is unprecedented in scope thanks to technology.
Opportunities for communication and collaboration have also been expanded by technology. Traditionally, classrooms have been relatively isolated, and collaboration has been limited to other students in the same classroom or building. Today, technology enables forms of communication and collaboration undreamt of in the past. Students in a classroom in the rural U.S., for example, can learn about the Arctic by following the expedition of a team of scientists in the region, read scientists’ blog posting, view photos, e-mail questions to the scientists, and even talk live with the scientists via a videoconference. Students can share what they are learning with students in other classrooms in other states who are tracking the same expedition. Students can collaborate on group projects using technology-based tools such as wikis and Google docs. The walls of the classrooms are no longer a barrier as technology enables new ways of learning, communicating, and working collaboratively.
Technology has also begun to change the roles of teachers and learners. In the traditional classroom, such as what we see depicted in de Voltolina’s illustration, the teacher is the primary source of information, and the learners passively receive it. This model of the teacher as the “sage on the stage” has been in education for a long time, and it is still very much in evidence today. However, because of the access to information and educational opportunity that technology has enabled, in many classrooms today we see the teacher’s role shifting to the “guide on the side” as students take more responsibility for their own learning using technology to gather relevant information. Schools and universities across the country are beginning to redesign learning spaces to enable this new model of education, foster more interaction and small group work, and use technology as an enabler.
Technology is a powerful tool that can support and transform education in many ways, from making it easier for teachers to create instructional materials to enabling new ways for people to learn and work together. With the worldwide reach of the Internet and the ubiquity of smart devices that can connect to it, a new age of anytime anywhere education is dawning. It will be up to instructional designers and educational technologies to make the most of the opportunities provided by technology to change education so that effective and efficient education is available to everyone everywhere.
You can help shape the influence of technology in education with an Online Master of Science in Education in Learning Design and Technology from Purdue University Online. This accredited program offers studies in exciting new technologies that are shaping education and offers students the opportunity to take part in the future of innovation.
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Learn more about the online MSEd in Learning Design and Technology at Purdue University today and help redefine the way in which individuals learn. Call (877) 497-5851 to speak with an admissions advisor or click here to request more information.