There’s no doubt that the increased use of technology in Connecticut classrooms enhances students’ learning. Students can now access information from across the globe on every subject imaginable and interact with individuals from other continents. But herein is where the problem lies; the internet doesn’t come without risk.
As a district technology coordinator in Connecticut, how can you ensure your students are safe online and acting responsibly? Anti-bullying policies and blocking, you may cry. But is this enough?
We’ve all heard about anti-bullying, and the state of Connecticut is not alone in having laws pertaining to the prevention of bulling amongst students, including through technology (known as ‘cyberbullying’). Passed in 2011, Public Act 11-232 requires schools to create a climate of safety by having:
Connecticut schools are also required to monitor for and report bullying incidents in a set time period to the school climate specialist. At last count, in 2012, over 91% of schools in Connecticut had adopted safe school climate plans.
Having policies in place to detect and prevent bullying is one key aspect of internet safety. But risks online extend far beyond this, from inappropriate and potentially harmful content to communication with individuals offering inappropriate activities and topics. Sometimes students just aren’t aware of the dangers, and while blocking websites can prevent access to certain areas it doesn’t teach them why something poses a risk.
This is where an internet safety monitoring system comes in; constantly monitoring your network for potential issues and flagging them for relevant staff members. Not only can it help identify bullying incidents, and even the perpetrators, of cyberbullying incidents (something which is required by state law) , but it can also act as an early warning mechanism for other issues by giving staff a picture of incidents over time.
If you’re interested in taking your anti-bullying policies further to extend into full internet safety, take a look at our network monitoring software and see how it could help you deliver an even safer environment for your students.