Online Safety

What's the Big Deal?

The big deal is our students spend a lot of time in online environments. While these environments are great tools to promote collaboration and sharing among our students and their global counterparts, they may also expose our students to situations they might not feel comfortable in.

It is important to continue to promote all the positive connections that the internet offers for collaboration. However, at the same time, we must also make students aware of inappropriate online behaviours and teach them the skills to manage awkward situations they may encounter in order to keep them safe.

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"Smart Phone with Social Media Icons" courtesy of kanate

When teaching about online safety, it is important that we....

1) Avoid a fear based tone. Help negate the negative with positive actions.

2) Encourage group discussion based on real, and applicable events. Have students discuss what is positive and inappropriate online behaviour.

3) Highlight decision based behaviours to ensure students are prepared for uncomfortable situations, if, and when they arise.

4) Provide safe environments and supports for sensitive topics.

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..the next time they're online...

1) Consider how much of your personal persona they exhibit online. How much personal information do they really want people to know? Do people really NEED to know?

2) Consider when to accept a friend request. Do they really know this person? Do they have any mutual friends in common? Who is this person, really?

3) Know when to exit a conversation. Don't reply to questions that are too personal and topics that make them feel uncomfortable.

4) Tell a friend, parent or trusted adult when they have experienced an uncomfortable situation that just don't sense is right.

4) Avoid flirting, sexual or excessive language and/or behaviour.

5) Refuse any face to face meetings unless a friend, parent or guardian can be present.