Dr. Darren Draper shared an analogy that really spoke to the concerns these parents had in the meeting. He likened learning responsible internet use to responsible pedestrian practices crossing the street. The street is an important part of life; it must be traversed in a safe way. The internet is also an important part of life and must be navigated responsibly. What I’m learning is that in order for me to be an effective educator who can teach students how to safely utilize the incredible wealth of information available online, I need to be aware of the dangers AND the resources.
Our Canyons Education Technology Department provides some information on online safety that is geared to parents, teachers, and students. There are real dangers to be aware of, but once they are identified, they are relatively easy to avoid. Find out more information about our Parent Connections project and download the brochures. Education of these tools (social media-Facebook and Twitter, search engines, and other websites) for parents and teachers is critical to protecting children from the potential dangers they present. The Parent Connections online safety literature includes some cautions, but also some academic resources for students to help in projects and other assignments.
Through my experience in the Ed Tech Endorsement program, I have learned about some incredible, free resources that teachers can use to help direct the students’ online activity. A great hub of safe and credible information is the Pioneer Library website. This service is provided by the Utah Education Network (UEN) and is available to all Utah students. For at-home login information, check with the school or contact an Ed Tech. It includes encyclopedias, copyright-free media(sounds/pictures), videos, and other targeted resources. For a list of some other resources I have explored and recommend for teachers to use with students, click here!