This week we explored web awareness and internet safety. As teachers, it is important to become aware of the issues and risks associated with using the internet in the classroom and at home. In class, we covered four main issues associated with children using the internet. Safety on the web was the first issue we explored. In order to ensure our students' safety on the internet, it is important to become familiar with the risks ("Know the Risks"). The Media Awareness website provides teachers' with information and classroom activities or lesson on the following risks; privacy invasions, pornography, cyber-bullying, online predators, spam, misinformation, violent and hateful content, and gambling. The second issue we explored was authenticity of information on the web. Kids, as well as adults, often have the mindset that "if it's on the internet, it must be true". Here is a useful checklist that can be used to evaluate the accuracy of sources. The Media Awareness Network has a list of questions that you can ask yourself when determining whether or not the information you encounter on the internet is accurate and reliable. Marketing to kids on the web was the third issue covered in class. It is important as teachers to help our students understand when, how, and why they are being marketed to. As teachers, we need to address marketing and privacy issues in the classroom. The last issue we explored was copyright & privacy. As students and teachers, we are faced with the challenges of copyright issues when trying to utilize and integrate materials. It is important for us as teachers to become familiar with the Canadian Copyright Act and to teach our students about it as well. As teachers, we should model to our students how to give credit to the author and cite sources. Teaching our students about the risks and issues associated with the internet helps promote safe internet use within the classroom.
Beck, Susan. (1997). The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Or, Why it`s a good idea to evaluate web sources. Retrieved October 27, 2010, from http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/eval.htm.
Media Awareness Network. (2006). Media and Internet resources; for teachers, for parents. Retrieved October 27, 2010, from http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/index.cfm.