Internet Safety for Teachers and Students
From the experience gained in many years of working with the use of the Internet in education CIESE has come to the realization that it is important to balance protecting students with the need to utilize the technology to its full potential. For these reasons, rather than advocating policies that completely restrict students and teachers in regards to the content of their web sites, we advocate the following:
Acceptable Use Policies (AUP) - These are basically "contracts" that outline how students can use the technology, what they cannot do with it and the consequences for violating the policy. These should include school web pages and the content that is allowed on them. AUPs should be signed by an authorized representative of the school, students and parents so that all concerned parties are aware of the policy.
No Student Names - We recommend that when referring to students on a web page that either their names not be used or only their first names be posted. Some schools have found the use of "nicknames" to be an effective way of dealing with this issue.
Student Pictures - Although we do encourage the posting of student work that may include student pictures, we strongly encourage teachers to get written permission to post student pictures and work before placing it onto the web. We have found that most schools already have such permission slips for use when student pictures are placed in newspapers. These can often be re-worded to cover the issue of posting to the web.
School or Classroom Web Pages - It is important that teachers and students recognize that a web site that refers to their school or district represents them in cyberspace just as a school newsletter or yearbook represents the school in their community. Because of this they need to respect the interests of the schools system and post only appropriate materials to the web site. What is "appropriate" regarding content should be clearly defined in the schools AUP .
There are lots of “rules” on how kids and parents can be use the Internet but the most important rule is that parents and kids agree to a set of criteria. Here, based on “
"The technology that has so dramatically changed the world outside our schools is now changing the learning and teaching environment within them.” - National Education Technology Plan for the U.S. Department of Education
This site is designed to show educators and administrators how to use NetSmartz interactive materials in their classrooms, accumulate more information about Internet safety and technology, and take steps to bring their classrooms into the 21st century.Educators can draw inspiration for their own 'Safety Online' Chart from these sites:Kids Rules for Online Safety” and “Guidelines for Parents” are two pledges that kids and parents can take.
How much controls is too much? If we place privacy controls do they inhibit the very social nature of the Web that we want to engage learners in? I think that all of the points you raise are important for all educators and educational institutions to think about. I think we are obligated to at least discuss with learners appropriate use (particularly sites like Facebook and MySpace - they can come back to haunt...), controls on personal information including pictures, and course Web sites and wikis - are they open to all, some, or just the enrolled learners?
A huge issue and I'm looking forward to some great discussion on it this week.