Cyber-predation does not generally occur on school time. However, schools have a responsibility to teach cyber-safety. Parents have a responsibility to join the conversation.
Thus, back in the fall we conducted Internet Safety Week to raise awareness and affect habits.
During the month of May, our local ABC affiliate News Channel 12 is investigating Child Crimes Online in a series of videos with a similar aim. The news segments, which can be streamed on the Internet, do for the most part focus on police work to catch cyber predators. This is good because one cyber-predator is one too many; one victim is one too many.
But this discussion merits balance.
In Segment 4, I urge parents to be aware of the cyber frontier, to keep computers in common areas, and to talk to their kids about their on-line activities and behaviors.
I urge them not to view the glass as half empty, though. I applaud IMtalk as an efficient linguistic convention . . . a thriving dialect rather than some sinister secret code.
In a glass-half-full prism, the Internet is the greatest conduit ever for information and communication. Just today, I was reviewing data about our students’ use of SAS inSchool Curriculum Pathways.
An online resource for students and teachers, Curriculum Pathways provides standards-based content in all the core disciplines, grades 8-14.
Resources like Pathways are morphing into textbooks. If you haven’t looked at Pathways in a while, check out some of the Interactivity Demos. (Pathways is available to North Carolina schools at no subscription cost to the schools.)
Whenever the specter of Internet Crime is raised, we should pay attention to the alarm bells. We should pay attention to remind people that cyber-predation is real and worthy of precautions.
We should champion that much good exists on the Internet, as well.