Reading Reflection #3
It is our job as teachers to protect students while they are in our care. It seems that many times the filters through the school district block materials that are not harmful or unsafe for children. It is however dependent to what is being surfed of the Internet. I remember that some time ago I took a workshop where an adult sight had taken advantage of the “.gov” part of the Whitehouse sight, http://www.whitehouse.gov/ and used a “.com” domain label to trick students to view their sight. This type of malicious use of the Web is the reason why we need filters for schools. So does this limit what we can assign as a teacher or have child learn about? My answer would be no, as with a classroom with more than one student doesn’t exist. Only filters can act as a parent to help reduce the amount of objectionable material that exists on the endless Internet, a parent next to their child is a live filter, we as teachers need the electronic filters to act as the parent and protect the student. We can’t shield our children from everything that they will eventually be exposed to, but as parents we should be given the choice. We should feel that school is a safe environment. Filtering material from the Internet is one way to ensure their safety.
As an article from “USA Today” stated we have a legal obligation to filter according to the “Children's Internet Protection Act”. This doesn’t mean that it makes sense in some cases, but because the certain key words that a filtering program is based on is to exclude sites. It becomes frustrating to many teachers and students when using the Internet at schools. However as I stated earlier we must adjust and use home Internet more frequently so that parents can more carefully monitor Internet content.
There is a multiple amount of computer security threats when using the Internet. The issues students are exposure to would include objectionable material and predators using instant messaging, chat rooms or blogs to find children and baiting them into conversation, then online relationships or more. This also continues to safeguard children from “Cyber-bullying” The other types of security risks that filtering safeguards against are computer viruses which “is a program designed to affect your computer negatively without your knowledge or permission” (Shelly, 2010). Another common type of malicious program would include a “Trojan horse” or a “worm” both are similar to a “computer virus” in which it causes damage to computers, and networks.
This brings to mind how do we guard our computers, since this is one of the biggest investments that we may make in our households? There are software programs that protect your computer that can be purchased that offer protection from “computer viruses”, “malware”, “firewalls” both software and hardware versions, and include e-mail safeguards from scams such as “phishing”, and “spam” schemes.
These devastating types of software lead into one last point which is ethic and etiquette. In terms of ethics most schools have some type of “Internet Policy” or “Acceptable Use Policies” that are a guide to how computer usage is allowable as a privilege to those using a network. The current world is full of computers which these ethics guide all users from how to abide by copyright and fair use guidelines, to etiquette when using a cell phone. It is so common to have a cell connected to your ear, more and more the “no cell phone” signs are constantly being posted. As this technology increases so does the wireless network. We are in a path of having a completely wireless world, where cell phone providers make it easy to take and use new technology everywhere and anywhere. In a very short time the emerging technologies will allow handheld tablets and devices, like the “Smartphone”, to be our primary connection to the Internet. This will create a completely wireless classroom. Books and assessments will be on a tablet. It will be where students from home or in their seats can complete the same work and the teacher can use the instant assessments that technology brings to give immediate feedback to improve the learning of a diverse classroom. Then parents can check what their child got on their spelling test from their Smartphone or home device instantly after the test has been given.
Shelly, Gunter, Gunter (2010) Teachers Discovering Computers Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom Sixth edition. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
USA Today, Associated Press (2005) Schools install Internet filters to receive federal money. Retrieved from: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2002-09-14-internet-filters_x.htm.