Internet Safety

“With great power comes an even greater responsibility”, said Voltaire as quoted by Beuchot & Miger (1829). If you google the sentence I just used, you will find many taking credit for these words. Some on the Internet project that Stan Lee wrote these words for Uncle Ben to share with young Peter Parker in Spiderman, Amazing Fantasy, 1962. Voltaire may have even taken a variation from scripture as a similar quote appears in Luke 12:48 “To those who much is given, much is required.” The quote is powerful and for this example sheds light on two facets of Internet Safety. Teaching students by modeling proper Internet use and stewardship demands that we as educators set the tone. The accessibility of both vetted and unvetted information allows students to do things I only dreamed about as a teenager.

Part of the problem is the challenge of the medium. Do children really understand the complexity and possible danger? Zheng addresses similar issues that children simply do not comprehend the concerns as the child sees only a screen and is disconnected from the potential pitfalls (2009). Furthermore, Zheng expressed that CIPA and the current in-school approaches (filtering, banning access) does not necessarily guarantee wise student choice and in fact may make the problem worse (2009). The common thread between both articles seems to point to positive encouragement, behaviors, education, modeling and mentorship on the part of adults in the lives of students.

Exploring Internet safety also requires educators recognize patterns of use. Wang, Luo, Gao & Kong indicate correlations to sleep and hostility issues and problems with interpersonal skills by those students whose families and adults are less involved in setting limits and encouraging real-time social interactions (2012). As we develop our Internet Safety programs educators should seek teachable moments to encourage students to implement good Internet habits both in their research and entertainment.

Please visit my Internet Safety Guide HERE.

References:

Beuchot, Adrien. J. Q. and Miger, Pierre.-A.-M. (1829). Œuvres de Paris, Lefèvre. Retrieved from http://archive.org/details/uvresdevoltaire27migegoog

Wang, Ligang, Luo, Jing, Gao, Wenbin, and Kong, Jie. (2012). The effect of Internet use on adolescents’ lifestyles: A national survey, Computers in Human Behavior, 28(6), 2007-2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2012.04.007.

Zheng, Yan. (2009) Differences in high school and college students’ basic knowledge and perceived education of Internet safety: Do high school students really benefit from the Children’s Internet Protection Act?, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30 (3), 209-217, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2008.10.007.

Zheng, Yan. (2009). Limited knowledge and limited resources: Children’s and adolescents’ understanding of the Internet, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30(2), 103-115. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2008.10.012

 

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About "B" Bernheim
“B”, his nickname, returns to the other side of the desk after many years. Graduating from UNC-Charlotte in 1983 with a BA in Education (K-12), he entered active service with the US Army. He began teaching high school upon completion of his tour of duty. B taught Language Arts and Social Studies for one year at the middle school level. English, Composition, Public Speaking, Theater, Forensics, and Technical Theater are among the subjects he has taught in public high school settings. Most recently, he was a Strategies of Instruction teacher, Assistant Dean of Students, dorm parent, girls’ hockey coach and rock climbing instructor at The Forman School in Litchfield, CT. The Forman School is a 9-12 boarding school specifically targeting students who learn differently.

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