Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 10 - Internet Safety

There are times where I begin to think that our constant preaching about Internet safety is the "Just Say No" campaign of our time.  From the time our students start school, they are beaten over the head with keeping their passwords secret, being careful with whom they interact on-line, and not sharing any personal information with people they don't know.

The question that we have to ask ourselves how effective all of this preaching has been.  It hasn't stopped cyber-bullying; it hasn't stopped sexting; it hasn't stopped cyber-stalking.

Please do not misunderstand, I am not suggesting that we stop the campaign because it hasn't stopped all of those issues.  If any of those have saved even one person from any suffering, they have been worth it.  I am just asking whether or not students have become so used to hearing the words "be careful," or "don't cyber-bully" that those words don't mean anything or mean much less to them anymore.

What we have not done a good job of is encouraging students to improve their on-line presence.  We have encouraged them to be careful about what they post to their social media accounts, but have we taught them how to post other things to the web that show how thoughtful they can be, how creative they can be, or how intelligent they can be?

This should be the focus of a high school technology curriculum.  High school students are going to be applying to colleges or for jobs.  They should have something to show admissions officers or employers about the things that they can do, that they can and are willing to learn how to use new technologies and come up with solutions to problems that might be presented to them.  Skills are becoming more and more important for our students to be successful as they continue in their career fields down the road.  If we are not giving them opportunity to show off the skills they have now and the skills that they are going to learn, then we are not doing our job.  This is an attitude that must change in our high schools if we are to help our students improve their futures.

No comments: