Issues to consider when working online

What is age appropriate? What are we allowed to use? What needs to be administered, blocked?

Introduction: Schools are becoming more and more aware of what it means to live, work and play online. Issues are prevalent for both teachers and students. For example, what material is suitable to access? What is truth? What is age appropriate? What is morally and ethically questionable? Do students know how to search for material on the web? Do they know hot to evaluate the material they have found? What filtering systems need to be in place, when accessing the internet? What is legal to download, use and share? What about internet piracy? Some considerations when working online, have been unpacked further below.



Unpacking the Issues


The following issues have also been raised by Dorothy and Russell Burt and originally posted in Suzie Vesper's Learning Web 2.0 wiki. The responses in this link are from one school's perspective - Point England. The following tasks invite you to share what course of action your school has taken to address some of these issues.

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Place of online tools within the school


Introduction: Ethical issue no.1 - Place of online tools within the school. With access to a wide range of free web based tools, schools will need to consider what this means in the long term.
As discussed in Learning Web 2.0 wiki, how is your school addressing the following issues?


Question:

How can we manage and support the online learning of minors using educationally appropriate social networking apps, and the decision making around which apps are indeed appropriate?



Reflection: How has your school addressed this so far? Leave a message in the DISCUSSION tab above (this will appear in the thread below).

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Age restrictions in online tools

Introduction: Ethical issue no.2 - Age restrictions in online tools. Teachers may have got excited by new technologies, and decided to adopt these into their classroom programmes. As discussed in Learning Web 2.0 wiki, are your teachers aware of sites that have age restrictions such as Blogger.com where you must be 13 years of age to use the service?

Question:

How can we manage and support the online learning of minors using educationally appropriate social networking apps, and the decision making around which apps are indeed appropriate?



Reflection: How have you dealt with this issue? Leave a message in the DISCUSSION tab above (this will appear in the thread below).


Internet Censorship

This area feeds into an on-going discussion originally started in Digital citizenship and cyber safety module

Introduction: Many schools use internet blockers. They block the dangerous and inappropriate sites that should be blocked, but they also block sites that possibly don't need to be blocked and have real potential educational value - like Youtube, wikispaces, blogs etc. Sometimes you can type a word like 'shag' hoping to find a relevant website on birds, only to find these sites are blocked as well. In issue 24, Interface Magazine ran an interesting article on Staying cybersafe in your classrooms. You are invited to add comments in their website.

Blocking web sites at school

Reflection: Should we lock our systems down or find another way to manage them using tools like Hector's World Safety Button? What do you think? Please add your comments in the Voicethread application below. Note: You will need an existing account with VoiceThread to do this.



Anyone interested in this conversation, may also want to respond to NetSafe's Filtering in Schools online discussion.


Subject Author Replies Views Last Message
Age restrictions in online tools tessagray tessagray 0 154 Jul 25, 2010 by tessagray tessagray
Place of online tools in schools tessagray tessagray 0 109 Jul 25, 2010 by tessagray tessagray




Additional resources to consider:

Netbasics
http://www.netbasics.org.nz/


Working within a Walled Garden
This blog post gives you alternatives to open online tools should you need to have in-house solutions that are locked down.

Point England School blog - how to manage online spaces when they roll over
https://sites.google.com/a/ptengland.school.nz/blog-rollover/home

Aviary give schools a safer way to get creative
http://www.interfacemagazine.co.nz/articles.cfm?c_id=&id=576

Blogging Safely
http://www.netsafe.org.nz/keeping_safe.php?pageID=142&sectionID=adults&menuID=106