There is a lot of impunity on the internet, and, sadly, students are part of it. It’s hard to control everything that happens on the internet or the kind of sites that students visit. It is the reason why some schools and parents are skeptical about online learning.
Additionally, there are internet predators that are waiting to harm kids by using them for their own selfish gains. Therefore, there is much that parents and teachers should do to guard the safety of students while they are using the internet.
It is no doubt that students have a role to play in ensuring they do not put themselves in compromising situations. However, educators should be at the forefront of protecting them. Below are some of the ways that instructors can use to enhance students’ safety as they use the internet.
Formulate Rules Safeguarding Student Safety Online
Creating policies may not sound like the best way to ensure safety since students are always curious and would want to see what would happen if they broke the rules. However, they need to understand that the rules are meant for their safety. Therefore, teachers should explain to the learners the importance of internet rules and further show them how to use the internet safely.
Teach Students About User Privacy Online
It is hard to maintain privacy online since we do not know who is handling our data and how secure the data is. For example, when seeking an essay writing service, one may give their details without reading the privacy terms of the website.
So, as an educator, you can spare some time to teach pupils how their information is stored on different apps and websites. Also, teach them how they can stop unauthorized persons from getting their information easily. For instance, teach them how to set strong passwords.
Create a Reliable and Trustworthy Cyberbullying Support System
With the advent of internet usage, the world has become a global village. People interact with different individuals from all over the world. Some of these interactions are potentially harmful, for instance, cyberbullying.
It may be hard for students to come forward and report instances of cyberbullying. For this reason, schools need to introduce a support system to ensure those who face cyberbullying have a safe place to seek help. Cyberbullying has led to low self-esteem, depression, and suicides around the world. Thus, students should be encouraged to speak up if bullied online to receive professional help.
Stay Up-to-Date With the Innovations
Many apps and innovations are coming up daily. These inventions mainly target the younger generation. Therefore, teachers should keep up with the new trends to be in a better position to teach or assist students in case of a problem.
The more informed you are about these new technologies, the more you will offer practical assistance to your students. If you are clueless about these innovations, you will not be able to monitor what they are doing online. What more, the students may meet dangerous people like predators or cyberbullies online.
Provide Them With Relevant Resources Online
While conducting research and looking for relevant reading materials, students may bump into websites with misleading content. Therefore, you need to guide students by referring them to reliable websites with relevant educational materials.
Involve Parents and Guardians
Research has shown that the primary reason many kids don’t abuse drugs is that they don’t want to go against their parents’ wishes. Similarly, kids will use the internet responsibly if parents are involved. Thus, educating parents/ guardians on the risks of inappropriate internet usage is an effective approach to ensuring that students are safe online. Also, parents should be encouraged to talk to their children about proper internet usage.
Do Not Block Sites
Most people think that blocking particular websites is the best way to prevent students from accessing inappropriate content. Even though it has a positive impact, it can fuel the students’ curiosity resulting in them finding ways to access the blocked sites. Thus, blocking some sites would not be the best thing to do.
Online safety is vital for everyone. Therefore, parents and teachers have a role to play to ensure safety as the students surf the internet. Online safety can be achieved by coming up with rules to guide students while online, teaching them privacy matters, creating a cyberbullying support system, and providing them with relevant reading materials online.