Internet safety: what it means for New York school districts
1st November 2015
Would you be shocked to discover that New York State is ranked as the second highest in the country for reported bullying incidents, according to a September 2015 study by the US Cyberbullying Research Center?
Internet safety and the New York State Education Law
Devised in 2012, section 814 of the NYS Education Law features the following factors on the safe and appropriate use of internet technology that we think you should be aware of:
- Any school district in the state may provide, to pupils in grades kindergarten through to twelve, instruction designed to promote the proper and safe use of the internet.
- The commissioner shall provide technical assistance to assist in the development of curricula for such courses of study which shall be age appropriate and developed according to the needs and abilities of pupils at successive grade levels in order to provide awareness, skills, information and support to aid in the safe usage of the internet.
- The commissioner shall develop age-appropriate resources and technical assistance for schools to provide to students in grades three through twelve and their parents or legal guardians concerning the safe and responsible use of the internet. The resources shall include, but not be limited to, information regarding how child predators may use the internet to lure and exploit children, protecting personal information, internet scams and cyberbullying.
New York offers a range of useful resources to help schools with their approach to internet safety. Take a look at the links below:
The New York State Education department provides some handy resources to help schools understand the aforementioned state law, along with an internet safety resource toolkit and a host of other useful resources designed for teachers, parents, students and technology administrators.
The New York City Department of Education’s Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy outlines a comprehensive set of policies for multiple areas of internet usage across the city’s schools and districts.
New York State Model Schools mission is “to leverage technology to transform education to improve learning and lives of students”. The consortium provides an internet safety course through popular learning platform, Moodle. This free curriculum offers a range of modules including:
The Social Web – this includes areas such as social networking, the next generation of the web, social bookmarking, and MUVES (Multi-User-Virtual-Environments).
Cyber Citizenship, Ethics, and Cyber Safety – this module teaches students about protecting their identity online, how to keep safe online, an overview of cyber predators and how to use the web ethically.
Copyright and Intellectual Property – specifically for educators, this module explains how to use copyrighted materials gathered online
Strategies for Safe Schools – this module provides examples of how other educators across the US are using technology and the online world safely in their schools.
monitoring software – why it’s important
In a survey we ran just last year, we discovered that 75% of students had accessed restricted websites at school despite blocking used as a preventative measure. And with over 10% of students admitting that they accessed inappropriate websites at school (including gambling, pornographic and self-harm sites), these figures show why it’s important to consider monitoring online activity in addition to blocking. The ability to monitor online activity allows instructors to identify exposure to potential risk before an incident escalates, so the relevant support and guidance can be provided. Real-time remote monitoring software, such as Impero Education Pro, provides instructors and administrators with a live thumbnail view of all student screens for monitoring activity in real-time. Automatic screen captures and video recordings of incidents enable instructors to put both misuse and risk into context, so students can remain focused, on task and safe in the digital learning environment.