Monday, July 31, 2006

Internet Safety

I was talking to a colleague of mine who has a fifteen year old son. The son wants to participate in MSN chatrooms like all his friends do, but my colleague wants to keep him safe. He likens the son's proposed participation in MSN to letting him go to the mall unaccompanied to meet up with whoever might be there and with no focus for them being there, a recipe for trouble. I have talked with my colleague regarding internet literacy and supervision rather than outright banning of the site. Of course my colleague will work out the decision that is right for him and his family, but during the discussion he asked me if I knew of any resources. That just opened the floodgates. I looked up Wes Fryer's blog as his podcasts have mentioned teaching internet safety lately and I found this interesting video made by a student and a school principal. It is called Predator and I thought it was a great conversation starter. Wes has a wiki with a lot of resources and his del.icio.us links on Internet Safety. Thanks Wes, for a great collection of resources on this very topical issue.

3 comments:

  1. Jo - this is a great resource. Thank you very much for sharing it. I intend to show it to my (adult) students tomorrow. Many of them have children - and are often unaware of what their children are doing when they are using the internet.

    Jane

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  2. Thank goodness somebody in teaching gets the whole unsafe thing about the internet -- many don't!! I once had my computer attacked through a messenger program and at 3am alone in the house that is really scary. People just don't seem to understand that just because you are not in physical contact with a person there is still danger, and that when you post on the net, even just log on to the net people can access your information and all sorts of other things.

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  3. I couldn't agree more! I think that banning these sites will only make them more attractive and mysterious to kids (hey, I remember being 15!). You should recommend the Cybertipline.com to your friend's son. It's run through the Center for Missing and Exploited Kids and lets you report any misconduct online without giving your name or anything. I've used it several times myself and find it to be very user friendly - not to mention the fact that I am reporting one of these creeps!

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