The Internet is an amazing tool that every child must have access to. So much information is available instantaneously to every person who has that access. However, the power of the Internet to connect people to information, ideas and other people is also dangerous for those who are not prepared. Just as we know that there are great places to visit in person to see cultural, entertaining, beautiful and new things, we also know, as adults, that there are places we want to stay away from because of the dangers they present. Do these dangers keep us locked in our houses? Of course not, we have learned how to avoid such places.
As parents and educators we must help our children learn to navigate the Internet in a way that they can obtain the benefits, while avoiding the dangerous areas. The challenge is that children feel more comfortable than the average adult in the world of the Internet. It is our responsibility, as teachers and parents to be well versed in the proper usage so that we can help our children make smart choices and be safe. Use some of the links provided below to fill in your knowledge gaps so that you feel comfortable talking to your child and supervising what they do.
In closing I would like to offer some safe guards that may help you protect your children be providing a healthy “connected” home. Then use the websites below to educate yourself and think about an Acceptable User Policy for your home.
- Put your computer in a high traffic area, somewhere out in the open. A child’s bedroom is not a good choice.
- Talk to your child about both positive and negative behaviors about using the computer. What do you expect.
- Find out what your child does on line for work and recreation, monitor them. You don't let them watch every TV show. It is good to give boundaries.