The internet is undoubtedly a robust educational tool. But as technology advances, it is becoming saturated with content and people that pose a threat to young school children.
And as we push for the full integration of educational technology, it is essential that teachers learn how to keep students safe while using the internet for learning or leisure purposes.
Hence, this article will reveal helpful tips to guarantee the safety of your students while they use the internet. Note that you can implement the steps below right away.
Keeping Kids Safe Online in Class
The internet is a vast network, and students are at risk of different online vices. It is up to teachers to prevent children from falling prey to these vices by prioritizing their digital safety. We have curated some steps you can implement to ensure every child is safe while accessing the internet.
Check all learning devices before giving them to students: The device students use in school contributes to their safety online. So, it is important that you check these devices, delete unwanted applications and media, and install the necessary learning programs before allowing students to use them. Sometimes, it is best to customize these devices or use Chromebooks, which are already equipped with multi-level security and work perfectly with Chrome browser safety features.
Use the school's or their parent's email address for each student: Young school children do not need an email account until they come of age, except if it is under close submission. Using each student's authorized school email to register for online programs gives the school/parents adequate control over the kind of info students consume online. This also helps to ensure that they do not fall victim to phishing or scammers.
Monitor children as they use the internet: Young school children need supervision whenever they are using the internet. You can check their screens or browser history during and after each internet session. You can also install monitoring software like LearnSafe to help detect unhealthy online behaviour, such as pornography, cyberbullying, and sexual harassment.
Create a school internet policy: A school internet policy is a set of guidelines and code of conduct to guide students using the internet. In this policy, describe how you expect students to use the internet and outline the rules of engagement and penalties for disobedience. This will also help students understand why they should take online safety seriously. You can share the policy with students and parents/guardians and let them sign or consent before using tech facilities in the school.
Introduce digital citizenship education to the curriculum: Digital citizenship as a subject is another way to keep students safe online. With this subject, students can learn how to communicate online, differentiate real and fake news, what to do when they feel uncomfortable, and how to navigate the internet.
Prioritizing internet safety and digital citizenship is the right approach to ensuring students have a seamless digital experience while learning. And while it is challenging to keep students safe online, the tips above are realistic measures for providing internet safety.