In our experience, the biggest barrier to using e-learning activities – especially on-line sites – is that many teachers are petrified by press reports, local authority warnings, parental anxieties and even their own conviction that the internet is generally an unsafe ‘place’ for children. Yes, there ARE dangers out there on the Internet as there are dangers everywhere. But the dangers and the concerns must be balanced against the duty of care we have to teach children how to use the Internet safely. It is worth noting that the majority of recent reports regarding inappropriate behaviour on social media sites, involved people in their late teens and early twenties. Are these the result of not being taught how to be Internet savvy earlier in life?
As a teacher you need to understand a few background things about computers before you start thinking sensibly about ways to keep learners safe. In particular you need to understand some basic stuff around security, protection, privacy and safety and the differences between them. We are using these terms in a specific way to make distinctions we think are important. Others may use them differently.