Technology Safety & Responsibility

Our children are immersed in a technology driven world. It seems as if we, the adults, are always trying to "catch up" and stay on top of the newest thing. But when purchasing and providing our children with technology tools, resources, toys and gadgets, do we:
  • Think about and talk about the ways (good and bad) the item could be used?
    • Example- Smart Phone:
      • Resource for capturing a fun day at the beach. (Great!)
      • Resource for capturing inappropriate imagery in a locker room. (Not Great!)
    • Are you talking with your child about how to use their technology resources and gadgets appropriately?
Technology has become a part of our way of life. Our children look to us for guidance and direction.  Just as we teach our children not to drink and drive, we need to teach children how to use technology safely and appropriately. We don't want our children making choices that could negatively impact their lives.
 
Example: Posting pictures on social networking sites like Facebook:
  • Some colleges and employers are checking social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace before admitting and hiring people. Some colleges and employers are making decisions about acceptance and employment based upon what they see on these sites.
  • Are the images your child is posting going to help or hurt their desire to attain a job or admittance to a college?
We might or might not understand everything a child's phone and computer can do but we can certainly give them direction on how to apprpriately use the technology.
 
What are kids doing online? Examples:

 

  
  • Posting messages - good or bad (cyber bullying)?
  • Downloading music - legally or illegally?
  • Downloading videos - legally or illegally (Think about YouTube)
  • Uploading music - legally or illegally
  • Posting/uploading photos - legally or illegally
  • Blogging - appropriately or inappropriately?
  • Adding to collaborative sites like a Wiki - appropriately or inappropriately?
  • Sending suggestions, ideas and or articles to sites
  • Creating webpages - What's on the page?  appropriate or inappropriate content?
  • Creating online polls & surveys - good or bad content?
Question: Do your children know how use these tools safely and responsibly? Please talk to them.
 
Want to learn more about these technologies? Try How Stuff Works: (For adults) Resource site for learning about new trends and how many of the new technologies work.
 
Quick Tips To Consider When Choosing Sites & Sources of Information 
  1. Audience: Preview sites before using with children. Look for and be aware of the dangers of:
    • Intended age group - Is the content appropriate for your child?
    • Inappropriate advertising & content
    • Sites asking users to provide personal information. Be safe. (Set ground rules.)
      • Avoid using sites with students asking for personal information
      • Teach kids to protect their identities
    • Sites providing the ability for users to post comments. (Set ground rules.)
  2. Reliability
    • Look for and review authors
    • Remember, anyone can create a web page.
    • What is the bias of the creators?
    • What is the purpose of the site? (Why was the site created?)
  3. Accuracy
    • Check content accuracy
    • Is the information up to date/current?
General Tips for keeping students safe online
Internet Searches: Provide children with guidelines and strategies for safe searching. Give students age appropriate search engines to use.  You might want to provide younger students with a list of previewed sites. Examples:
  • Reference Resources: World Almanac For Kids & Factmonster.com
  • Search Engines For Kids: KidsClick
  • Clipart & Images: Pics4Learning
  • Use filters or parental controls on kids' Internet account. 
  • Make students aware of the dangers of the net. Talk to them before “somebody else” does. Encourage your child to report to you or some other trust worthy adult any “dangerous communication” that they may have encountered.
For More Information / Resources To Explore & Utilize: