For teachers, the Internet can be described as a two-edged sword, delivering both opportunity anddistraction to students. For tech savvy teachers, new technology and an emerging ICT culturepresent exciting changes to how they teach students. For others, fear of student distraction anddisengagement, plagiarism as well as classroom management during computer lessons is frightingand gives teachers a reason for avoiding online learning (Brandt & Williams, 2007). Regardless of which category you fall into, outside of the classroom students are ignoring their cautious teachersand using online services anyway.
any students arent waiting until they get home to go onto theirfavourite sites but are finding ways to bypass filters at school.This calls to question whether site blocking is really stopping students from looking at inappropriatematerial. Student have the ability to break through filters or use home computers without filters orusing their mobiles internet, and are able to view what they wish anyway. Whether schools like itor not students will be exposed to inappropriate material and potential dangers while online. So itstime that schools start educating students on cyber safety and not just believing that Internet filterswill stop students encountering online risks.As every teacher knows teenagers take risks, more risks than any other age group. Young people,especially those with low life satisfaction, may gain most from the online support and newfriendships that online networks can facilitate.
owever, young people are also likely to engage inbehaviour that may involve or lead to risk-taking online (Notely, 2009). In general the more timeyoung people spend online, the more skills they obtained, the more satisfying their experience, andthis increases the likelihood of students encountering risks.
owever, I believe the riskiest optionteachers can take is to not teach and expose children to potential online dangers. Schools andteachers need to take responsibility for educating children on the dangers of being online, becauseit is better for students to learn about cyber safety in a teacher guided environment than at homeby themselves (
urray, 2008).While the risks young people encounter online have been researched and openly discussed, it ismuch more difficult to verify online benefits.
owever, one of the key advantages of opening filtersto include online communication tools is to increase social connections for students and teachers.Online networks enhance social interaction because of their accessibility and the way socialrelationships are easily created and maintained online (Notely, 2009). Is it vital that student haveaccess to ICTs at school because studies show that 19% of Australians aged less than 15 years arewithout home Internet access (Notely, 2009). Even if students do have computers at home, that isnot to say that they actually get to spend a great deal time at all using them, through either otherfamily member use or strict time allocations from parents.Other educational possibilities of social networking sites include creating wikis, working together onblogs or Ning groups. All of these online tools offer opportunities for more engagement andcollaboration with other students and teachers around the world. The quality of a school's web sitecan greatly help schools to undertake interactive online activities safely and
securely. The toolsoffered on the school's web site can allow teachers to create safe online chat rooms and post blogsto only people who have a school login. While there is always a chance of students addinginappropriate information and harassing other students online, this can be controlled when teachersstart up a blog as they can put themselves as the administrator and approve all information before it