The Internet can be a powerful resource tool for use in an education setting. Instant access to sites on virtually any subject matter allows for creative lesson planning. Lesson plans by subject area, reproducible worksheets, and online activities at a click of a button are all available. Students also have a vast resource in the Internet—they can develop their computer skills, take virtual tours, do research, or correspond. By using the Internet in the classroom, students now have access to information not available in most school libraries. Students’ horizons are expanded without ever leaving the confines of the classroom.
However, with the positives come the negatives. The Internet has its risks, and it is up to schools, educators and parents/guardians to find means for students to enjoy and safely use the Internet as an educational tool while minimizing risks inherent in using the Internet.
In carrying out its responsibilities under the Children's Internet Protection Act, the School uses several options to promote online safety and use of the Internet:
- The School has adopted and implemented an Internet Safety Policy which is found here.
- The School limits access to sites through filtering or blocking software. The School also blocks access to chat rooms.
- School and network administrators and their authorized employees monitor the use of information technology resources to help ensure that uses are secure and in conformity with this policy.
- The school’s technology curriculum includes sections that address internet use and safety and responsible online behavior, based on age and grade of students. Students are educated during computer instruction to not provide pertinent and personal information.
- The School will ask students and/or parents/guardians to sign an Acceptable Use Policy which is a written document describing the responsibilities of students when accessing and using the Internet through the School’s network and servers, and the consequences for wrongful action. In this manner, students develop a sense of responsibility and ownership for their online experience.
- The School will sponsor programs and bring in guest speakers from various organizations to speak to the students, parents and staff about online safety.
As educators, we try to do all that we can to ensure that your children have a positive experience when they go online at School. Here are some tips to help you protect them when they go online at your house or at the home of a friend.
Please see our tips for parents/guardians.
Good Resources for parents/guardians:
GetNetWise (http://www.getnetwise.org) - Comparison of filtering tools
Safekids.com (http://www.safekids.com) – Online Safety and Tools
Safety Clicks (http://www.safetyclicks.com) - Tips and info for parents and children
Cybersmart (http://www.cybersmart.org) - Downloadable online safety lessons
The Children’s Partnership (http://www.childrenspartnership.org) - The Parents’ Guide to the Information Superhighway
ChildNet (http://www.childnet-int.org) - Resources in English, Spanish, French and German
Power To Learn (http://www.powertolearn.com/internet_smarts/index.shtml) – Internet Smarts
Some resources for teachers: