With Web 2.0 tools bringing more students online, it's a good time to review your Internet Safety guidelines. Thankfully, there are many social media tools designed specifically for teachers and students—providing private, protected communities for sharing and collaboration in safe online environments. In the Community Tools section you'll find ideas like wikis that let you to manage communities—e.g., public wikis shared by the whole school and private wikis just for teachers or individual classes.
Reinforce guidelines for responsible Internet use
- Update your Web 1.0 safety tips to include social networking—for both personal and school-related use.
- Cyber-bullying is real and deserves its own guidelines and discussion points.
- Remind students to exercise good judgment and think twice before uploading or posting content and comments—anything they post can live online forever!
- Cyber-ethics is a good topic for classroom discussion: ask students to help write rules about appropriate and ethical behavior online; how can they communicate and collaborate respectively in online communities?
- Teachers should reinforce rules about safe online activity; monitor and supervise online work; and periodically check the effectiveness of filtering systems.
- If your school does not have formal Internet Safety Guidelines, why not offer to help create them?
Be Web 2.0-savvy and don't "over-share"
- Don't disclose personal information online (name, email address, postal address, phone number, photo, school address, etc).
- Beware the addictive nature of social media and online activity-it's important to work productively and keep a balance in one's life outside of school.
- Advise students to be wary of online fraud, spoof websites and scams, and to recognize marketing tactics targeting tweens and teens.
- Start a discussion about social networks by asking what it means to "manage your online reputation." How does this also relate to what you text or IM?