Monday, January 5, 2009

Will 2009 be the Year of Internet Safety?

eSchool News released its top ten most significant ed-tech stories of 2008 and 60% of them have something to do with internet safety. Six out of the top ten stories that eSchool News listed were about cases involving cyberbullying, online computer security, malware and illegal file swapping. It is amazing considering the amount of educational technological advances in the past year. The continued rise of web 2.0 technologies for educational purposes, the introduction of a slew of low cost, "netbooks", the election of Barack Obama who has campaigned about 21st Century Learning skills and frequently airs addresses to the nation via YouTube. Could this be that the media and public tend to report more on tragedies and danger, or could it be that digital citizenship and safety go hand and hand with any type of web technologies that are used by people today. How will this trend play out for 2009? eSchool has also made internet safety one of their top five stories to watch for in 2009. Specifically, How will new federal and state regulations affect internet safety education in schools?

This, I believe, is the most intriguing question related to internet safety education in 2009. Last year Congress passed a law that requires schools receiving federal e-Rate funds to teach students about online safety. Will there be a specific curriculum that needs to be followed? How will this be measured? What grade levels are to be targeted? What types of materials will the department of education provide to school systems? Will there be training available to teachers and parents about the importance of internet safety?

These are all questions that I hope will be answered in 2009.


Linda said...

Schools have to be educating children on internet safety and leave there old school teachings behind. Many parents do not understand computers and they also need to be educated along with the children.

BPS Internet Safety Blog said...

Excellent point Linda, parents do need to be educated about internet safety so that they understand what kids are able to do online these days. Not just the dangers online, but also the potential for learning.