Here are some ideas to share with your students. Feel free to add more in the comment box! I’d love to add to my list on my blog.
Just as there are certain limits for people driving with learners’ permits or 16 year old permits and adult permits, there are guidelines to stay safe as someone under 18 who is cruising the internet. Here are a few tips you need to know:
1) Don’t post your full name online! (not even on a teacher’s blog). Instead, use your first name last initial, or some other alias.
2) Don’t post private information about yourself (your age, email address/home address/phone number) on public spaces online.
3) Remember that the internet is permanent. Even if you delete something, it can show up on history searches, so make sure that you consider what you’re posting. Would you want your parent, friend, principal, teacher, grandparent, college admissions, or future boss to see it? Will your post embarrass yourself or another now or in the future?
4) Every now and then Google yourself. What comes up? Do you need to tell your friends about Digital Footprints? Are they hurting yours inadvertently?
5) Remember that not all strangers are bad! In fact, most aren’t! Many great people use the internet. If you meet a stranger via twitter or via a discussion board, try googling the person to make sure they’re safe to chat with. Your learning should extend outside your classroom and outside your friend group… but you want to make sure you’re learning with people who have your best interest in mind! Don’t be afraid, just aware.