Internet Safety

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The Internet has proven to be a valuable resource for education. But along with the unlimited resources, the potential for collaborating and communicating across the globe, and participating in virtual field trips, comes the responsibility to limit students from accessing inappropriate sites.

Internet filtering software has been installed in the and gives us the means to limit access through these different ways:
1. Comparing sites to a database of sites allowed/disallowed
2. Comparing ratings assigned to sites
3. Scanning the content of a site based on keywords or phrases
4. Knowing the source of information

In addition to these precautions, we have set up a children's search engine as our home page in the elementary schools. The creators of this search engine prescreen all the sites and rate the information according to accessibility, accuracy of information, appropriateness for the age group, and appeal. Read more about this by clicking here: Using Yahooligans

The added responsibility to ensure that all materials are educationally appropriate. It is for this reason that school districts have an Acceptable Use Policy (or AUP) to govern the use of the Network and Internet access. This policy clearly states that everyone in the school system, staff and students alike, have the responsibility to use these tools for educational purposes. It also explains that no system is fool proof and therefore, this responsibility is serious.

It is important that students using the Internet are given guidelines and direction when they use the Internet. We have created a list of recommended websites for you to use with the students, in addition to the sites that you preselect and screen for their use. It is also important to monitor students when they are using the Internet.

Although these precautions have been implemented, there is still the possibility that students could view or read something inappropriate, give out information that makes them unsafe, copy something from the Internet that is copyrighted, or break other rules that might jeopardize their safety. Usually these activities are innocent or done unintentionally; therefore, we want to make every effort to inform the students of Internet safety.

Here are the TOP FIVE Internet Safety tips:

1. Never give out personal information over the Internet. This includes name, address, phone number, name of school, name of town, name of sports team-or any place where you go regularly, etc. If you follow those rules, it is obvious that you should not send pictures to anyone you do not know personally or arrange to meet in person anyone you met online.

2. Do not share your password with anyone. If you use a password to access your work at school or to use your Internet access at home, never share it with anyone outside of your family.

3. Don't break copyright rules by copying someone else's work from the Internet. Everything that is published on the Internet is someone else's work, including words, pictures, and sound. You must give the owner of the website credit if you use something from their website for a report. There are sites that contain free pictures and sounds, look for those if you have a need.

4. When using Email, do not open up anything you do not recognize. This helps to protect you from strangers and helps to protect your computer from viruses. Do not answer any email that makes you feel uncomfortable, and if you do encounter something uncomfortable tell an adult right away.

5. Stay on task when you are working on the Internet in school. This means that if you follow a link to get more information but the site you enter is not about your topic, hit the "back" button.

Here are some Internet safety sites to use to become familiar with Internet dangers and safety tips; other sites listed here are for teaching students about the dangers of the Internet and how to stay safe.

For Teachers and Staff:

http://www.getnetwise.org/safetyguide/
This is a great introduction to Internet Safety. It allows you to click on different age groups and find safety considerations.

For use with Students:

http://www.usdoj.gov/kidspage/do-dont/kidinternet.htm
The Internet: the Superhighway Where Kids Drive, Too! Learn about Internet Safety by reading the "Rules of the Road" and playing a learning game.

http://disney.go.com/family/surfswell2001/index.html
Disney Online Activity Center. Play a game to learn Internet Safety.

http://www.safesurfin.com/kids.htm
Safe Surfin' Kids and Teens. Learn about Internet Safety.

 

Send e-mail to: shaston

These pages were made through TeacherTECH, the teacher professional development component of GirlTECH, which is sponsored by the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education (CEEE) with support from the National Science Foundation through EOT-PACI and Rice University.

Copyright © July 2004 by S.J.DePland Haston.