Tips for teachers
In order to assist your children in exploring the Internet and benefit from its vast opportunities and advantages, it is important that you develop an Internet oriented approach and mentality. For this reason, we have created a short list of tips that will help you to achieve this goal.
Benefit from the new technologies present in your student's generation
Keep in mind that every generation prefers new and different possibilities and techniques of mutual communication. Benefit from your students interests by actively implementing the latest and most popular technologies in class.
Learn the Internet basics
Very often your students know much more about all the possibilities on the Internet, ranging from games, applications and software. To be able to thoroughly understand your students' behavior on the Internet, learn as much as possible about the Internet. Only when you know at least the Internet basics you can apprehend the possibilities offered online and evidently estimate potential risks. There are various ways to learn the basics: become familiar with the Internet via using the Internet yourself, do an 'Internet-Drivers-Licence', read Internet Guidebooks for teachers, or simply ask your students.
Keep your students' age in mind
When using the Internet in class, keep your students' age in mind and adapt the use of the Internet accordingly.
Set reasonable rules together with other teachers, parents and your students about using the Internet
Important topics to include in rules are, for example, disclosure of personal information, behavior on the Internet, and which online activities are OK in your school and which ones aren't. Please keep in mind that rules are only effective when all stakeholders understand the rules and accept them.
Encourage your students to be careful when disclosing personal information
Call your students' attention to disclose personal information with caution. Explain the dangers of airy data forwarding to your students. Many websites require giving out personal information to access content. A simple rule could be that your teen does not give out names, address, phone numbers and pictures of your family unless you have agreed.
Encourage your students to netiquette
Netiquette refers to the informal rules of online behavior. Let's say it simply: Things that are allowed in real life are also allowed in the Internet. Things that are forbidden in real life are also forbidden in the Internet.
Show your students how to respect others and their property online. Explain to your students that rules for accepted behavior don't change just because they are on the Internet.
Discuss with your students the truthfulness of Internet content
Teach your students that not everything they find online is true. Encourage them to ask if they are not sure. Also show your students how to check the truthfulness of content by comparing with other sources.
Teach your students how to block someone online and to report them
According to European studies, one third of 12- to 19-years-old have encountered pornographic, xenophobic, homophobic, violent content online or harassment in chat rooms. Therefore, teach your students how to block someone online. Also remind your students every now and then where they can report this disturbing content: www.cyberethics.info or +357 22674747.
Arrange security protection at the computer and the school network
Consider all means of protecting your computer and the school network. Arrange security protection at the computer(s) that you use with your students as well as at the school network. Teach your students how to protect their own computers.
Use Filtering or Blocking Software
There are various filtering and blocking software programs available in the market which can be downloaded onto your computer and empower you to block types of sites you consider to be inappropriate for your students. These programs work in different ways. Some prevent users from entering certain types of information such as their name and address. Other programs keep your students away from chat rooms or restrict their ability to send and read E-mails. Generally, these programs can be configured by you to only block the types of sites that you consider to be objectionable
It is important to realize that filtering and blocking programs cannot protect your students from all dangers online; they are not 100% effective in keeping inappropriate content from anybody's computer. Filtering and blocking programs are not a substitute for critical thinking.
If you use filtering or blocking software in school inform all stakeholders.
For more information and an up-to-date list with the state of the art filtering or blocking software, please visit the section “Filtering/Blocking software”.
Don't forget: Advantages and chances of the Internet outweigh the risks. The Internet is an excellent educational and recreational source for students. It is a world where kids and teenagers can use for school work and as an information source.
Encourage your students to be conscious and explore the Internet to its full potential