Internet connected technologies such as social media, mobile devices, and even the “Internet of Things” provide enormous value and convenience to our daily routines. They also may present some challenges and concerns.
Inappropriate content, data privacy, and whom we communicate with online are topics students need to be aware of. At the same time, the discussion presents a great opportunity for us to talk with students about how to make positive connections & contributions online, and to evaluate online sources for legitimacy and accuracy.
The Parkland School District makes every effort to ensure a safe computing environment for our students. As mandated by the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), web content filtering is provided on all student computers. Chromebooks assigned to students as part of Parkland Ready 21 are filtered even when taken home. However, sheltering students from inappropriate Internet sites is not the complete solution. The most effective filter is knowledge and parental involvement.
Below you will find some of the best online resources for students to learn good digital citizenship & internet safety practices, and for parents to recognize how they can play a role in their child’s safety & success online.
Common Sense Media is a free digital citizenship program that includes comprehensive learning resources for students, teachers, and family members. Their content is based on the work of Dr. Howard Gardner and the Good Play Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The program addresses real challenges for students to help schools navigate cyberbullying, internet safety, and other digital dilemmas. Specifically, the Connecting Families program offers media-rich resources in English and Spanish to engage and educate families about their kids’ digital lives.
Parkland includes parents & guardians as part of our Parkland Learning Community through Hoonuit, an online portal where users can see clips or full courses on a wide range of topics from Google Sheets to navigating the college application process. Hoonuit has courses on internet safety, including Being Savvy Online and Digital Citizenship. They also have guides for parents on how to use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, & Snapchat.
Keep up on the latest trends and concerns around social media and their implications for online safety and privacy.
Many students are sharing large parts of their lives online, from their weekend plans to photos of their latest lunch. Right now, it may seem like you’re just chatting with friends, but what you’re really doing is laying the foundation for your online reputation. If the digital footprint you’re building now may last a lifetime, consider this: is it one you’ll be proud to share for the rest of your life? In more immediate terms, is your online persona one you’re willing to share with college admissions officers or future employers? If the answer is no, don’t panic. You’re not alone. Better yet, be prepared: there are steps you can take to build a positive online reputation while you’re still in high school.
Your privacy rights as set by government regulation, plus some very good advice for talking to kids about online safety (particularly an article names “Net Cetera” found in their Consumer Protection section).
This website has some particularly valuable resources in the area of theft, fraud, & cybercrime, and on securing key accounts and devices.
Wired Safety provides help, information and education to Internet and mobile device users of all ages. They help victims of cyberabuse ranging from online fraud, cyberstalking and child safety, to hacking and malware attacks.
The NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive, educational safety resource from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) for children aged 5 to 17, parents, guardians, educators, and law enforcement that uses age-appropriate interactive activities to teach children how to stay safer on the Internet.