Top 5 Considerations for Proper Conduct on the Internet
As we make more and more use of ICT in the classroom, and encourage students to do research and activities on the web, there are several important lessons to be taught to students. Most of them can navigate the web easily and often participate in social networks, but do they understand proper Internet conduct and the potential risks involved?
Just as we educate our students in social manners such as sharing, taking turns and respecting themselves and others, we need to extend these lessons to cyberspace. How can we do this? We can start a class discussion to get our students thinking, and ask them to share their opinions. We can also share our own experiences and as a class create a list of guidelines for Internet usage.
To get you started, here are our Top 5 considerations:
1. The age factor. Students should be taught that falsifying information, such as their age to create an account, is not OK. If a website has a minimum age for account holders, it should be respected.
2. Your digital identity is real. Almost everything that is published on the Internet may be accessed by anyone, now or in the future. This includes your family, strangers and future employers!
3. Respect for others. It’s important to respect others’ opinions, wherever they may be expressed. Also, you and your students can learn more about cyberbullying – what it is, and how to react.
4. Information literacy. Students need to learn what Internet resources are reliable and which aren’t, and how to properly cite sources when researching a topic. (A debate on Wikipedia as a reliable source is an interesting place to start!)
5. Intellectual property. A discussion of the concept of intellectual property is also valuable so that they realize that everything on the Internet is someone’s ideas or work and therefore has to be referenced to avoid plagiarism. This conversation can include defining concepts like copyrights, creative commons and more.
For ideas on how to address these concerns in class, try the Digital Citizenship resource found on Edmodo’s website. It includes class activities that help students understand these important issues. Let us know how it goes!