Web 2.0 Tool Safety Plan for K-12
When students use internet in school there are several risks they have to be aware of before working with the computer. There are filters that block some websites, but students could bypass those filters. We have to make sure that they are effective. We need to work together with the department of technology. Even though we have these filters, students have to be reasonable enough to know where to access and where not. This is something we have to teach them. When they are working on their computers we have to monitor and supervise their work. There are tools for real time remote control and we can see what they are doing. When we know what website they access, we can teach them and explain what is appropriate for them and the reasons why they should or shouldn’t visit these sites. As teachers, we can have a look at the history of the browser and see if there are websites that should be blocked or restricted for them. We can do this in conjunction with the technology department.
If students are engaged in a task, they won’t distract by looking at other websites, or at least the chances will be lower. So this is important, it’s not recommended that students don’t have any task assigned, it’s more likely they access restricted sites. If they finish their task earlier, the teacher can recommend alternative sites. They don’t have to do another task for school, but they may visit interesting website suggested by the teacher. In any case, the teacher is monitoring what they visit in case it is not appropriate. On the one hand, it could happen that students open by accident a website that doesn’t contain appropriate content. In this case they have to know how to proceed. They need to close it and it’s better they inform the teacher so they can check why it opened. Sometimes, it’s not their fault. There are websites that my open automatically if you open another website and it does not have anything to do with what they are trying to find. If it’s necessary, they can block it using the filter so this doesn’t happen in the future. A porn website is an example. On the other hand, there are also websites which are inappropriately blocked because of their content, but actually they are suitable for children. This has to be revised and add as an exception in the filter.
Written document for parents
your childen are going to work on a lesson where they will have to publish their works online, For this reason, I want to inform you that they need to be aware of the risks they may encounter. There are websites that do not have appropriate content for children. We have safety filter, monitor them and teach them how to use internet reasonable. However, I would kindly ask you, I you could help us as well from home. When your children are using their computer, you may have a look what they are doing and explain them the importance of this issue.
If they have any problems using internet and if they thing a website is suspicious, they do not have to doubt telling you their teachers. We want to help them, so they can take the most of their time and teach them how to use the internet for education purposes.
If you think you can handle you child using internet at home, or you cannot set your computer’s security filters, or you have any other doubts related to this subject do not hesitate to contact me or the school staff. We can help you. Next month we will be offering a workshop for parents who have this kind of problems. If you are interested, you can get more information in the school’s website or at the reception of the school.
Thank you for your attention.
Note for administration
Next week I’m working on a lesson where student have to publish their works online. I may need some help with risks they may find. I’d like you to revise the filters, if they are updated, and also if there aren’t any websites blocked my mistake that could be useful for them. Secondly, when they finish the lesson, could you revise the history in case they open inappropriate websites and inform me about this? Lastly, I’ve sent the parents a document about this activity, and I offered them help related to this kind of problems. They may address you or me, I just wanted to let you know, they may come.
Notes for students
I’d give a few tips for my students. First of all, they have to be engaged in their task and do not distract with other things. If they don’t know how to continue or what to do, they can ask me at any time. They have to develop their critical thinking by selecting what’s appropriate and what to, again, if they need help they can ask. In case they find a website it’s not suitable for them, they know what to do and they have to inform me about that. And if there something they cannot have access to, they have to tell me as well.