While there are so many powerful teaching tools found on the internet there are also very dangerous and degrading sources found on the internet. One of the most important things as educators and students of education is how to safely use the internet. There are at least 5 potential problems that can be faced while using the internet.
1. Accessing sites with inappropriate materials
2. Safety and privacy issues for students
3. Fraud on the Internet
4. Computer viruses and hacking
5. Copyright and plagiarism issues
(Roblyer & Doering, 2013 p. 214-216)
The above list may seem frightening and maybe even discouraging for students and educators to use the internet. However, if the proper safety guidelines are taught, learned, and followed, the Internet can be a safe and powerful tool. To combat students accessing dangerous sites firewalls are being used to prevent access as well legal actions to ensure that these filtering systems are in place. Although filtering helps to eliminate most of the threats there are still some important guidelines and methods that any internet user should be aware of. Some basic safety guidelines methods are:
1. Keep virus protection software up to date
2. Download only from reputable sites
3. Never open email attachments from unknown senders
4. Never open email attachments until you confirm their intent
5. Teachers should teach students the rules of plagiarism and copyright
6. Use sites to check for and prevent plagiarism
7. Use firewalls and other software that filter content
(Roblyer & Doering, 2013 p. 216)
Another recent area of concern is Internet use addiction. Youth today can be very addicted to using the internet, especially social networks. One website, www.internetsafety101.org has some age-centered guidelines that are very useful in helping the rising generation use the internet and technology in appropriate ways. Using the Internet and its tools isn’t without it’s risks but knowing the basic guidelines and risks help keep educators and students safe from harmful activity on the web.
Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating education technology into teaching. (6th ed., p 122). Pearson.