The Internet has become the greatest resource for students. With the evolution of technology, they have access to friends, data, information, games, images, news and more at their fingertips. With this, however, comes a lot of responsibility and it is our job as teachers to guide students in their internet decisions.
Below are four guidelines that high school students can use while using the internet:
1. Know your privacy settings
If your profile is public, make sure you only post things you would want your grandma to see…because she might. If your profile is private, it still doesn’t mean you should post any private information about yourself or your family that you wouldn’t want the world to know. You never know who your “new friend” is.
2. Pause before you post
Know what your current mind-set is before you post. Maybe you should wait until the next day before posting anything that could be harmful or funny at the time. Once again, go back to the grandma analogy.
3. Cyberbullying is not ok.
In fact, it is often more harmful than physical bullying. Unlike physical bullying, these words, images and any other harmful material can be seen by a mass audience and are permanently stored online. Make sure you let a responsible adult know if you or someone else is being cyberbullied.
4. Not everyone has to be your friend.
They may look good in their profile picture, but you never know who is the real person behind the image. If they are not your friend in the real-world, do they need to be your friend online? There is a song by Brad Paisley called “Online” you should listen to.
This is a great site put together by the FBI. It is designed to help teachers teach students about internet safety. There are 6 different grade-specific units and they integrate games throughout.
This site is put together by the non-profit iSAFE that specializes in educating and empowering youth to make smart decisions when online.
This site is by Common Sense Media and focuses on how to keep high school students safe while using the internet.
This is a great resource for all ages that was developed by The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Here, there are “pledges” that students can take that will help spur conversation between students and parents regarding internet safety.