Young people’s online life is very important to them. But young people are not likely to be open about a potential cyber threat if they feel their parents’ or teacher’s reactions could put an end to their computer access and communication. From a young person’s perspective, that punishment poses a far greater threat to his or her social life than a cyber predator poses. This is one of the main reasons education and open communication about computer use between you and your students are so important. Many schools attempt to limit Internet usage by installing firewalls or by utilizing layered, age-appropriate filtering software; prescreening sites; and building intranets that limit access to unapproved sites. However, widespread use of information technology by young people is here to stay and many of these steps are easily circumvented by tech-savvy students. Additionally, students easily access the Internet through their cell phones between class periods or silently during class. Schools attempting to ban cell phone usage outright on school property often have mixed success or meet significant opposition from parents. Downloading filtering software on the computers students use isn’t enough to keep kids safe. Children can easily access the Internet in other ways and most filtering software can be defeated. Education and awareness are key.
Do not allow your students to use:
Regularly search your classroom’s computer Internet history folder or have your technology support staff conduct these scans for you.