We take privacy and online safety seriously at The Media Spot. One of the most important outcomes of our work with Web 2.0 tools like blogs is the opportunity to inform students about Internet safety, and get them into safe online habits in a safe environment.
We encourage participation and sharing, but are careful to protect the identities student users of online collaborative environments we proctor. We do not allow the full names of students to appear on our web sites, and we will always collect parental consent forms before images of students appear on our web sites, and all content appearing on our web sites will be stricktly monitored.
We also comply with Regulations & Standards outlined by the following organizations:
- Federal Trade Commission’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
- National Educational Technology Standards (NETS)
- NYCDOE Internet Acceptable Use Policy
Key issues related to online safety:
- Sign your work with FIRST NAMES ONLY! (If you want to establish “code names” with your students for the blogs, that’s another layer of safety)
- Never share personal information over the Internet
- DO NOT type email addresses
- DO NOT type last names
- DO NOT type home addresses or phone numbers
Blog, Voicethread, and other online community & social networking moderation
Social Networking tools allow registered users within an online community to publish content and reply to content using “comments”. All staff members have accounts that allow them to publish posts, and students may publish by using designated class user accounts. No one else has the ability to publish blog posts.
ALL COMMENTS LEFT ON BLOG POSTS MUST BE APPROVED BY A TMS or Authorized Adult ADMINISTRATOR BEFORE THEY APPEARING ON OUR SITE.
Those who visit our networks who are not logged in may respond to blog posts with comments, but those comments will not be published until a blog administrator approves them.
As an additional security measure for content that should only be viewed by members of the school commnunity, certain blog posts may be password protected.
‘Cyberbullying’ is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. Read More on StopCyberBullying.org
We consider Cyberbullying a serious issue. Because all student activity on our websites are “moderated” by staff members, it is not likely that inappropriate content will reach our students. However, when an attempt at Cyberbulling is encountered (i.e. a derogatory comment from one student responding to another student’s work), staff members should treat it as a teaching opportunity by following these steps:
- Identify the author of the message
- Alert the class that an inappropriate message has been detected, and have a discussion about Cyberbullying
- Show the author of the message how their offending message was detected in the “moderation queue”, and explain that a large audience of administrators and teachers have seen the message in moderation
- Ad Council’s Campaign Against Cyberbullying
- (Optionally) Watch this Public Service Announcement on Cyberbullying
Also, check out the following Internet Safety Resources
- The Media Spots Delicious.com bookmarks tagged “safety”
- Common Sense Media
- Common Sense Media’s Video on Elementary School Tips for Safety
- Netsmartz for parents
- Netsmartz Kidz videos on online safety
- Point Smart Click Safe, Task Force for Internet Safety
- TheBeehive.org Internet Safety Page
- Skool Safe Search Engines for Kids
- Wired Safety
Online Culture & Parenting
- PBS Frontline’s Documentary: Growing Up Online
- Social networking in schools
Social Networking, Facebook & Cyberbullying
- Social Networks Grow: Friending Mom and Dad (Pew)
- The Importance of Monitoring your Online Reputation
- Overview of social networking, from Education World Magazine
- Facebook Best Practices (Recommended Privacy Settings)
- Digital Footprints — from the Pew Internet and American Life Project