The Little Devices in our Pockets

Children have the right to an education but they also have the right to safety. As a result of the information age, technology has integrated its way into our education system and many teachers include aspects of technology into their curriculums but most of the time, they forget to include the topic of internet safety. The Internet is a unique and impactful resource for society and especially education. Students of any age as well as teachers can use it to access a digital world filled with knowledge and opportunity but there is also a negative side of the Internet. It is important for teachers and educators to teach their students the proper way to use these technological resources in order to stay safe.

A site that is designated to internet safety is staysafeonline.org. The site includes information on how to stay safe online, how to keep businesses safe online, how to get involved with internet safety and what I found most useful, how teachers can teach online safety to a variety of grades and ages. I believe that it is an excellent resource for teachers to review and incorporate into their lesson plans as it goes into great depth regarding what to emphasize for each age bracket.

The internet is a great way to create an interactive curriculum which all children can enjoy and benefit from, which corresponds with their basic right to an education, but we cannot do so blindly. We must teach students the precautions necessary to effectively use technology and the online world to increase their knowledge and better themselves instead of engaging in unsafe behaviours. The TedTalk article entitled The places we don’t want to go, reinforces the concern that exists amongst parents with respect to their children being safe while using technology.

“The little devices in our pockets are so psychologically powerful that they don’t even change what we do, they change who we are.” (Turkle, 2012)

This quote supports the notion that technology can be either a powerful tool or a harmful device which impacts our lives without giving us a choice. There have been many times when people choose conversation over safety solely due to the fact that our society has become dependent on constant communication and access to endless information. As this information age continues to grow, the lines get blurred between what is appropriate and what is not and in my opinion, the younger we teach students about internet safety, the better off our global world will be. By understanding what is appropriate online is key to keeping ourselves safe and is key to allowing technology to grow within the education system. As children are able to stay safe online, they are able to stay safe in schools and utilize their right to a safe and effective learning environment within the classroom.

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