June is Internet Safety Month
Congress passed a May 16 resolution declaring June as National Internet Safety Month. According to the resolution, 35 million US school children have Internet access and one-third of students in grades five through 12 can circumvent Internet filters.
Also in the news, a Superior Court judge has granted a new trial for a Norwich substitute teacher whose faulty computer popped up pornographic images in her classroom. These facts pose many questions for educators as they try to best incorporate technology for teaching while at the same time keeping students safe from inappropriate web exposure.
Although school is out for the summer, many technology educators use this downtime to upgrade IT systems and review technology policies and procedures. While the internet itself remains a force to be reckoned with, using internet filtering and restriction solutions as well as educating students and faculty about the dangers of the internet is becoming a mandate in schools due to legislative and ethical concerns.
While no solution is 100% foolproof, there are filtering and security solutions that can be installed, web policies that can be imposed and student-safe search engines that can be utilized. Students need to be taught about internet safety –like what to do if they come across questionable online material, not to give out personal information and to use discretion on social sites.