I Recently read an article titled “ Is It Time to Scrub Your Digital Identity“ written by Tim Walker and Rebeca Logan. It discussed how we portray ourselves on the world-wide web which shapes our digital identity. Facebook, Google account, blogs and/or other social media outlets are tool we use(knowingly or not) that molds and shapes our digital identity. Understanding how the internet(social media sites) is now being used more and more as a tool by future employers when performing background checks it become more important that we don’t post or share anything that would ruin our professional reputation. Somethings should be kept among ourselves, our family and friends, not exposed or open for all the world to see.
Reading the article really made me consider myself and how I portray myself on the web. Although I don’t tend to post things that are provocative, Unseemly, or inappropriate, however at times I find myself liking or sharing things that someone else liked or shared not realizing (although the content is positive or uplifting) that it’s linked to a page that has a reputation of posting things that aren’t clean or shares inappropriate images and videos. By me liking or sharing the positive post, I become linked one way or another to that page/site. So my soon to be fellow professionals lets stay aware of what we share and to what we link ourselves to on these social media sites.
In addition, update your privacy on regular basis. I’ve learned that sites like Facebook and Google are constantly changing their privacy settings, therefore its needful for us to glance at our privacy settings on these sites to maintain that which we desire to keep private.
Furthermore, thinking about privacy, leads me to considering the other dangers the internet contains and knowing how I plan to implement the use of technology in my future classroom I find it important to teach and find ways to protect my future students from harmful material. After reading an excerpt from a book titled “Responsible Use of Technology” that deals with ways to protect students from inappropriate material and content online I’ve learned ways to do just that.
Filtering is one way we can try to protect students from harmful material. There are two types filtering. One is the use of a firewall. A firewall is a computer software that puts a digital force-field that protects computers from being infiltrated by unwanted material, from being damaged and it also prevents the occupants of the computer from accessing sites that have been deemed off-limits or not permitted by the institution. The other type filter is known as ” Stand-alone Filtering software. This software works as a refusal tool that refuses sites that contain harmful material when student are searching for information. Although filtering is a great tool aimed to protecting student it’s a very limited source in that it doesn’t always guarantee protection as some sites go under the radar and students are not always accessing the internet from protected devices.
Thus the most important tool (in my opinion ) to protect students is through teaching them how to surf the web safely. Just as a parent teaches their children right from wrong, how to behave in school, to respect their elders, to don’t talk to strangers and to say no to harmful substances so we as educators must find ways(working with the parents) to teach our students the does and don’t when using the World wide web.
One way of doing so is by creating a list of guidelines that informs students of the dangers that the web presents, (as well it’s benefits when used correctly). What not to do, how to avoid or navigate through unwanted/dangerous material, and other for safe and appropriate uses of the internet. Many Schools have set up their own guidelines generally known as “Accepted-Use Polices (AUP). The document addresses how students and teachers uses the school’s resources. It outlines the purpose( student learning), access to services(school sites, email accounts), Unacceptable behaviors(violating system security, purposeful attempt to damage system functions, etc.), Position of privacy( aspects of use that are monitored) and the punishment of violating the guidelines. All of guidelines are implemented to help protect both the students and the schools resources.
In addition, one key link to protecting student in my opinion (as I causally stated before) is by making parents aware of the dangers and by partnering with them to enhance student awareness and protection. Because most of the previous ideas stated above pertained to the school environment, I find it necessary for it to be reinforced at home, where students may be required to use the net for an assignment. Moreover, at home students aren’t always equipped with the software protection or under supervision as within the school institution. Thus, making parent encouragement and guidance more important in the effort to protect students. Moreover, informing parents of the softwares, parental controls and pop-up blockers can help them fiend off the unwanted material.
In my conclusion, the internet is a rich place, filled with a ton of resources, information, and yes dangers. Thus it is important that we inform our youth of its dangers and how to avoid and navigate through such it when using this great tool known as the internet.
Thanks For Reading,