It amazes me that teachers, parents, and adults in general would feel children don’t need to be taught how to properly use electronics. Adults will copiously remind children to play nicely, share their toys, avoid strangers, and treat others how they want to be treated before sending them out to play at the park. However when it comes to a device, with which a child can reach and be reached by millions of people and topics we send them to their rooms, backseat of the car, or allow them to fade from view with little or no guidance.
We teach by example as well with our devices. Being online gives people the false impression of anonymity. You are not anonymous when online. People feel empowered by their supposed anonymity and write, post, or comment on the internet in ways they would never portray themselves in real life. Why is this? If you wouldn’t say it, do it, or write it in front of your own children or the children in your classrooms, then why on Earth would you post it online for those children and all of the children in the world to see?!? And remember this, once it’s online… it’s forever! Nothing ever disappears completely. Your digital footprint follows you everywhere for infinity.
People are tracked and found online with very little effort. The video below makes it all too clear how easily kids can be tracked online. Now think of that in terms of parents and students who want to learn more information about their teachers. Do you think you can’t be found? I challenge you to type your name into the Google search engine. I bet personal information pertaining to you, your loved ones, and other startling search results are populated. Now think back to the things on your FB account, posts on forums, and photos you’ve posted online. Are these things you’d want anyone with access to the internet to see?