February 25, 2008~ Safety on the Internet is always a high priority in my life. This is not just because I am a Technology Coach responsible for teachers and students at my school but I am also a mother of two girls. One of which has already embarked on the journey of the MySpace venue and the other in which is happy being online with her WebKinz. I have instilled in both the girls (as well as the students I come in contact with at school) to use precautions while online and in everyday life. But honestly, this is not enough in today's society. Yes, I too have a MySpace so I can keep track of my older one and have even had to have conversations regarding content, pictures, and comments she has posted and received. And YES, we have even had to delete some school friends because of what they had posted and whom they had allowed to be their friends.
Alas, this is at home and how does this apply to me at school?? Well, the onset of Web 2.0 and its many different tools allows an open door to similar situations. Students have access to a variety programs that give them similar situations. It is my duty as an educator to ensure their safety. Many of the Web 2.0 tools are set up so teachers can set up a class account thereby not allowing students access to anyone not deem necessary (i.e. not on the class roster). This provides a great training ground for real-world applications their will use upon leaving the educational setting. A few of the tools we are currently and are preparing to use include Moodle for our book club, Voicethreads, and I am looking into blogging and Wiki's with my classes as well. Having the students in the safe-gate keeping programs will allow them to explore in the safety of the educational environment.