You’ve decided to use tech in your library, classroom or home environment. You’re excited about bringing the concepts your student(s) are learning in school to life. However, when you think about the people on the Internet whom kids might encounter, they look a little like this:
If this is you, you’re not alone. You are also wise to worry about strangers on the Internet. However, there are ways to keep kids safe that do not involve cutting them off from the Internet altogether.
Choose your EdTech sites wisely.
Look for sites that comply with your country’s privacy regulations. For example, Biblionasium is a COPPA compliant platform. Also, the less “public” features the platform has, the less chance there is for people to access information you do not wish for them to have.
Keep usernames and passwords secure.
If you are in charge of student usernames and passwords, and/or have access to sensitive information about students, and must store them outside of a personal computer or device, use a password-protected document or print them out and store them where others cannot access them.
Adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward cyberbullying.
Strangers are not the only people you should worry about on the Internet. A lot of threats to student safety and mental health come from inside the classroom. Make sure any student-to-student messaging features are not hidden from you inside the site. The best way to combat cyberbullying is awareness and immediate intervention.
Educate students (and parents) about Internet safety.
Many times, kids exploit Internet sites and features from inside the home. Make sure parents (or if you are the parent, you) are monitoring their activity when they are using EdTech at home. If you are an educator, send home instructions for safe Internet use when you introduce a new website, app or online teaching tool.