More than three billion people worldwide use the internet every day; with the click of a button anyone, anywhere, can access a wide array of websites on multiple devices. As a teacher, this can benefit you. Being able to show your students ways to research things on suitable sites such as Wikipedia adds a certain spark to lessons that can entice even the most stubborn student.
However, with these benefits certain dangers can occur. The amount of sensitive material online is staggering, and kids who shouldn’t be viewing certain websites doing just that is a common problem. That coupled with the myriad of troubles social media and gaming sites can cause means that as a teacher you need to keep on your toes.
This article is a helpful guide to teach your students how to use the powers of the internet safely, with care and consideration.
As a teacher, it’s your job to educate your students in your school’s curriculum and the same goes for internet usage. Simply telling a pupil that the internet is good or bad isn’t good enough. You need to get as in-depth as possible.
The first thing on your agenda should be to educate your students on just how powerful a tool the internet is. Sit down with your students and show them how the internet has changed the landscape of the world from how we consume media to how the media informs us. Showing them the sheer scale of the internet will make it easier for them to understand its power.
Show them the dangers
When your students know just how important the internet is in our society, the next step is to show them the dangers; this way they can put it all in perspective. Once again, don’t just tell them that certain sites are bad, go in-depth. Show them on examples the negative effects the web can have on them as well as their peers.
Cover gaming sites, adult sites, chat rooms and most of all, social media websites. Step by step you need to explain to them how their actions create reactions. One of the problems with the internet is the anonymity that it provides for users. If you show your students that being anonymous does not permit bullying or other negative activities, you will be teaching them responsibility and sensitivity.
Show them how to avoid the dangers
Once you show your students the dangers of the internet, you then need to explain to them how to avoid these threats. Most kids of a certain age will resist putting on parental locks on their laptops and especially on their smartphones. So, you have to show your students how to avoid dangers without just using that method.
Demonstrate to them how to block abusive social media users, how to report inappropriate comments on gamer chat rooms as well as what is appropriate for them to post on certain sites. This keeps them informed and avoids a rebellion from their power being taken away via parental locks.
Don’t just show them the negatives, highlight the positives
One of the best ways to get your point across is not just to point out negative attributes but to also show how amazingly positive the internet can be. Show your students that using the internet can gain them an income, good grades at school as well an education on topics that are not in the curriculum. Doing so will make your students gravitate towards the positives and avoid the negatives, but only if they are aware of them in the first place.
Finally, you need to set some ground rules to solidify your points on how to use the internet wisely. Firmly tell your students that certain sites, as well as particular behaviour on those sites, will not be tolerated in any way, shape or form. This will drive home your point to your students and have a positive impact.
It’s hard to get kids to avoid things that are dangerous, especially if said dangers are superficially attractive. However, using the above guide will make it a whole lot easier and is one of the best ways to protect your students.
Kate Thora is a Senior Content Specialist for Uphours, an online resource with information about businesses worldwide. Her artistic soul manifests itself also in her love for singing and dancing, especially to traditional Indian music.