To prepare children and students for the online world, we should treat it as if it were the real world. Things to remember are to establish guidelines and rules and know who communicates with your children. As a parent or teacher, you should familiarize yourself with the programs children are using. You should also consider using internet filters or blocks to discourage inappropriate downloads or web pages.
Children are thriving in the digital age and have access to all types of information via the web. According to Pew Internet and American Life Project, twenty one million teens ages twelve through seventeen are online. With the amount of children online shocking evidience reports that parents are unaware of activities their children are participating in on the web. Some simple rules for parents are to:
Keep your computer with internet access in a shared family space.
Spend time with your child while they are online
Teach children internet rules and consequences
Limit the time children spend on the internet (there are other projects that can be done using technology without using the internet)
The Children's Partnership provides some "Golden Rules" to follow.
Remember that "real" life rules apply online as they do in life. Teach children to use courtesy, kindness, modesty, dignity, and respect for the law and other while online.
Children should also not talk to strangers online.
Keep private information private
Children should never agree to meet online friends without parents
If you post something online, there is no guarantee that it is private and it can last forever
Children should know they can tell parents when they encounter something uncomfortable online.
Teach children not to reply to unknown screen names on instant messengers or open email from strangers (especially those with attachments)
Instant Messaging, Chat Rooms, Blogs, and Social Networks
These online resources can bring potential harm to children. In this type of online environment, you can never be sure who is on the other side of the cyber-world communicating with your child. Instant messaging should be limited to family and friends that have been approved. Yahoo parental controls allow parents to approve an instant messaging contacts. Chat rooms can be very dangerous as they sometimes can provide access to a stranger's web cam with the push of a button. Blogs and social networks are kind of line an online journal. Children (and adults) post pictures and give status updates of life events. Be sure to always have your child's user-name and passwords and check privacy settings. A child's profile should never be public.
Online Resources and Access provided by Jonesboro Public Schools
JPS provides home access for many online resources for students. Here are some examples of safe places to visit online for research. You can ask your building librarian for username and passwords for these sites. Online activites do not have to only include gaming and social activities. Using these resources, children can be exposed to a world of learning.
ChatDanger: http://www.chatdanger.com/ a site all about the potential dangers on interactive services online like chat, IM, online games, email and on mobiles. Click on the icons to read TRUE STORIES and find out how to chat SAFELY.
CyberSmart!:http://www.cybersmartcurriculum.org/ CyberSmart! curriculum is now part of Common Sense Media's education programs. Over the next year, Common Sense will be updating the CyberSmart! lesson plans and adding video, interactive components, and a rich complement of parent resources to create an integrated K-12 Digital Literacy and Citizenship curriculum.
CyberNetiquette Comix: http://www.disney.co.uk/DisneyOnline/Safesurfing/cybernetiquette/main.html Welcome to CyberNetiquette Comix, an entertaining, interactive way for families to learn valuable lessons about online safety. Join classic Disney characters for adventure, fun, and online awareness tips. We encourage parents and children to enjoy and discuss these interactive fables together.