Opinion

Internet: The Huge Library And A Very Unsafe Place, How To Help Students Use It Safely For Educational Purposes?

The Internet, being a prime medium of getting information in our lives, surely has placed itself to a position where its importance and need can’t be measured. More and more teachers are using technology in the classroom – from computers, interactive whiteboards and tablets, to mobile phones and game consoles. These devices are often most effective when connected to the internet, which offers a vast amount of resources that cannot be found in traditional resource books. The Internet also offers the opportunity to the learners to practice their language skills on their own devices, encouraging learner autonomy.

But while the internet is a wonderful teaching and learning tool, it can pose great risks if not used safely. These can be related to 3 C’s

Content (children people viewing adult websites)

Conduct (children exchanging sexual messages or images)

Contact (including targeting children through chat rooms or social networking sites).

If not well informed about these risks, young children may put themselves in dangerous situations and can use it in the wrong direction.

Talking to an adolescent about e-safety

 

  • Internet is very useful If we talk about getting entertained, collecting information, doing regular activities like listening to music, watching movies, and spending hours on end chatting with friends via Facebook / Whatsapp or other social networking websites. But, teachers and, of course, parents can’t afford to ignore some of the risks. Instead, they should talk about e-safety with children, and listen to their opinions as well as they should make some rules.
  • Teenagers are those who are using the internet at the most nowadays, even small children use computers, tablets, and mobile phones regularly for playing games. By raising the issue of e-safety with young children, there will get a chance to avoid making mistakes and learn how to use the internet effectively and safely.
  • It’s important that teachers know what to do in this situation. It’s definitely worth checking with the school authorities what the e-safety policy is, what procedures are in place, and who to contact in case of an emergency. And children should get extra counselling sessions to teach them the right use of the internet. Such as-
  • Kids may feel pressured to share their thoughts, feelings and images on social media and may be asked to provide personal details in order to access games and apps. Discuss the idea that personal information has value. They should be selective about the information they give away, and only provide details that are absolutely necessary. Remind them that posts can be shared without their knowledge, so they should be careful about what they disclose, even to their friends.
  • Strong, secure passwords are essential for maintaining your privacy. Passwords should be a random combination of numbers, letters and punctuation, and should never include personal information such as birthdates or names. Passwords should be changed regularly and not be used across multiple accounts. Using a password manager is a good way to keep a secure record of all your passwords.
  • Explain to your students or children that they must not share their passwords with anyone, especially at school or online. However, it may be appropriate for parents to know their children’s passwords, in order to monitor online behaviour and keep them safe. 
  • If you’re planning to use the internet in the classroom, always check the websites carefully in advance, including pages the website links too. A full proof check is essential because even the most ‘innocent’ websites may include content not suitable for young children.
  • The next important thing is making sure that the learners when using computers, tablets or mobile phones in class, know what websites they should be looking at and keep to them. Careful monitoring of students as they do their work is essential. This might mean re-organizing the room in a way that allows you to stand behind students as they work.

Finally, talk to your students about internet safety regularly, and if assigning homework that requires using the internet, prepare a list of websites that are safe to use and make these available to parents.

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