One of the greatest fears that we have as teachers integrating technology and web 2.0 in the classroom is the safety of our students and their responsibility on the net.
Introducing the students to vocabulary and terms that they may not be familiar with is a starting point, but parents need to be informed as well. Nowadays students are spending hours socializing and playing games on the net, so we need to acknowledge and encourage responsibility inside and outside the classroom.
The center for safe and responsible internet use has some great articles about this topic, focusing on myth vs reality. “The use of social networking sites does not appear to increase risk. Online interactions that do increase risk include talking online about sex with unknown people and posting sexually suggestive material. Social networking sites, which allow young people to control who has access to their personal information and limit communications to friends are far safer than chat rooms.”
A report released in February talks about this in more depth.
I don’t know everything about this, but the one thing that I do know is that in order for us to have serious converstaions based on facts not fears, we need to learn more and stay active in our children’s lives and social networks.
Here’s a short list of some great social sites that students and parents can use, which are web based and being used around the globe by students.