Safe and Ethical

Internet Safety

The internet has impacted almost all aspects of society to the point that 3 and 4 years olds are using computers and the internet independently. The reality is that all students need to be safe in using the internet. A large step to maintaining a level of safety is for parents and teachers to be informed and teach children how to be safe.

There are many resources to provide further information; however, here are a few guidelines.

    Young children should only be using the internet under supervision and with guidelines.
    Young children should not be just going to the net. They may use only a specific site or sites.
    Children should know what to do if they find something inappropriate.
    Children should not have internet access in their bedroom. Internet access should be in open family spaces.
    Parents should inform their children that they will be checking their internet activity (ie. Turning on MSN archiving) to ensure their safety.

Links to sites with more information can be found at

Part of Internet safety includes managing our Digital Footprint and Digital Tattoo. Even as an adult, I am careful about my personal identifying information that is freely available on the web. While I am easy to contact, my home address is not findable on Google. I purpose not to geo-tag photos taken at home. Before my girls were 13, if we posted a photo of them, it was tagged with my name, and my profile only allows my friends to view(not friends of friends.)

In the same way, I attempt to manage the impact the digital world has on our family. Our girls learned early on if they were watching YouTube how to stay within safe viewing content (such as Disney Channel). To prevent or eliminate if it arrives inappropriate email, I set up GMail accounts in my name, that they could use until they were 13. In addition, I have their GMail accounts set to CC me every email their receive. (My eldest is now 13 and I will remove this restriction to release control to her.)

Internet Safety is not about blocking, banning, preventing. It is about learning how to be a safe citizen and what to do when you don’t feel safe.

Ethical Considerations
Copyright was invented to protect the author of a ‘work.’ Unfortunately, much of copyright today is just about making money for the publishers, not the inventor, creator, author, or maker. There have been several push backs to the publishers making all the money.
1. Fair Use polices – describe how materials that are copyright can still be used without paying for access / redistribution. (Wikipedia Fair Dealing by Country)
2. Self Publishing – several bands now release their music directly to iTunes instead of a record label
3. Creative Commons – creators now have the ability to CC license their work where some rights are reserved instead of all rights reserved.

I make it practice to either create my own images for my publishing, ask permission of the author, or search Creative Commons only material. I believe these are best practices to teach our students as well. It is a good process to have students try to contact the creator of an image that is ‘perfect’ for their project. Sometimes it works immediately, sometimes months, sometimes never, and sometimes the result is denial of permission. Each response is a learning opportunity.

A great resource for copyright friendly or common called copy left materials can be located

Contributing Member
As citizens our our country, we should be positive, value-adding contributors. The Read Write web has enabled every student to be a global citizen, consuming content from around the world and producing content for around the world. We should all strive to be contributors and make a positive impact on our physical and digital world.

With the ability to publish comes the responsibility to publish ethically.

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