Saturday, March 1, 2008

Let's Be Safe Out There!

I attended a parent education evening at school recently on internet safety and our children. Unfortunately, most of the parents who attended (and there were surprisingly few in attendance) left that evening feeling even more frightened for their children's safety. I think a few may have even gone home and thrown their computers out the back window.

I think, and I'm sure many of you will agree with me, that this is the absolute worst tack to take. I mean, seriously, if you tell your child they can't have something, don't they just want it all the more? And if you are so worried about all the wackos out there, why would you ever get on a freeway?! The world is full of, well, let's call them "interesting" people. Our job is not to teach our children to avoid them, because they can't always do that. Our job is to teach them how to handle themselves in any and all situations that come their way.

Would it surprise you to find out that worrying about online predators tracking your child should be much lower on your list than worrying about whether or not your child is being bullied online? Or that, heaven forbid, your child is doing the bullying? Check out the following article from the New York Times on internet safety, and, if you haven't already, talk to your kids. There is much they can teach us!

How Dangerous is the Internet for Children?

Special thanks to Kate Olsen for tweeting this article this morning!


Anonymous said...

That's so unfortunate that the tone of the meeting went that way. In the workshops I did I really tried to get across the educational aspects of the web and how best to embrace and teach digital citizenship rather than block. The wiki I created has some great resources - to educate parents. Your thought that "our job is to teach them how to handle themselves in any and all situations that come their way" is right on!

Unknown said...

Kate, thanks for your comment! And for the reminder to check out your wiki, it will definitely come in handy. My seventh graders are going to be creating presentations to make to the younger grades about internet safety. I'm really excited about it!

Cheryloakes50 said...

Karen, I find when we have Internet Safety nights we don't get a huge following either. Check out my Moodle site I made for my 5th graders, and another page for parents. I really am promoting the PBS frontline special about our Cyberkids growing up online. and then the parent site

Unknown said...

Hi Cheryl, thanks for your comment and for sharing your links. I'll be sure to check those out before I start working with my students. I watched a bit of the Frontline special tonight...very well done so far.