This is a huge concern among parents and educators alike in today’s mobile hi-tech society. Many middle school students have smart phones with internet capabilities making the internet more accessible to students in this age category than it was just a few years ago.
In the classroom, various things can be done to monitor students on networked computers. Such as positioning classroom computers in such a way that they are visible to monitor students online or using products such as LanSchool. In today’s world this just is not enough. Students need to be taught how to use the internet safely at home, school, and on the go. This involves a partnership between the school and parents to facilitate the students education regarding internet safety and appropriate use.
In doing so students should be taught the following key things.
- Do not identify yourself online using personal information such as name, address, phone number, etc. You never know who is on the other end of the keyboard.
- Do not post photos or comments that your parents or teachers wouldn’t approve of. Chance are if they aren’t okay with it then you shouldn’t be posting it.
- Be respectful of others online.
- Protect yourself. If you feel uncomfortable with online interactions tell an adult immediately
There are several great resources out there for additional tips for internet safety for middle school aged students online. As parents and teachers, one of the biggest factors is to be involved. Know what your child/student is doing online. It is important for parents to sit with their children while they work on their homework, social network, or play games online to monitor online use.
A nice background on what parents, students, and teachers can do to be safe online.
A nicely organize list of internet safety recommendations by age.
PBS Webonauts – Teaches kids about internet safety.