Louise’s Blog

Cyber safe or shaky

We talk about this often. We are expected to be careful with the content we share, or expose the students to – and rightfully so. We are responsible – teachers and parents – for the wellbeing  of the child. Yet, students are online for long hours of the day – before school, during school hours, at home in the afternoon and at night. I think we will be naive to think that students don’t come into contact with questionable websites – whether by accident or on purpose.  And cyberbullying is a very real threat that need long, passionate and interactive discussion, and preferably preventative in nature.  Once it is out there, it is too late.  I think teenagers can be quite ignorant when it comes to what is acceptable to share and say, and how what you say on social media can haunt you forever.

I typed the word “mischievous” into the search engine some days ago. I was tired of students misspelling and mispronouncing it, and thought there might be a smart teacher out there who has a witty video, or clever way of remembering it. I was shocked to see where I end up. Now imagine in all innocence I inform my students to search for the meaning?

Avoid those questionable sites altogether? Almost impossible. It should be discussed. My school has a very safe approach to the internet, and it does put some dampers on what the students can access. Last year, students signed in and worked on my blog without much issue, this year I had to ask our tech guy to release the “ban” on blogs so that my 9s and 11s can access my blog. I don’t see this as disempowering, though. My principal is very supportive of us using technology, and will trust our judgement as to whether something is safe or not. When I started the blog, his first question was why I want it closed. He believes that students should have a cyber footprint, but be taught how to do it responsibly.

And to tell the truth, there are more than enough safe options for the teacher to use.

1 comment so far ↓

  • #   Nic on 10.29.16 at 16:36     

    Ummm, Louise. That hits home. I get students to look up word meanings all the time! Thanks for sharing that experience. I agree though that we can only protect to a degree – education is the key and an open and honest discussion about the risks and “what to do in the case of” is key. I’m curious about how the “lock down” at a district level operates and how they manage the information and access at that level. Pretty “techy” if you ask me!

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