Balanced Approach to Online Safety

There has been much talk recently about online safety and children. I wrote about this on a web site for Durham Academy last year after a visit by a noted expert on the dangers presented by Social Networking, IM, and other technologies. You can read more about that at: Social Networking. These represented my thoughts then and now although a year later, I have seen how my students are practicing the strategies needed to be safer online.

Recently the same noted expert spoke at our school and while the message was full of facts and possiblities there were only a few solutions given. I know our parents were shocked and scared over the messages given. I am not disputing the dangers that exit in life online or onland, but I do hope we take a more balanced approach. To that end, I want to share these links from Alex Ragone, Director of Technology, Collegiate School in New York, NY as he responded to a listserv question asking for advice or knowledge on a group who would be presenting a presentation entitled: Digital Mayhem in Schools. I have read Alex’s posts and believe him to be a forward thinking educator who shares all of our concerns and is working tirelessly to move the discussions forward on many topics.

From Alex:

Recent Congressional testimony about the minimal danger that is posed by the Internet: http://www.netcaucus.org/events/2007/youth/video.shtml. In addition, here’s a great article on online predators http://www.districtadministration.com/pulse/commentpost.aspx?news=no&postid=18080

I am reminded of the song by Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Teach Your Children
You, who are on the road,
Must have a code that you can live by.
And so, become yourself,
Because the past is just a good bye.
Teach your children well, ….