Tools, Apps & Texts

Tools, Apps & Texts

Internet Safety (2009)

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:

Key issues related to online safety:

Student Privacy

  • 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.


Those who visit our networks who are not logged in may respond to blog posts with comments, but those comments will not be published until a blog administrator approves them.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

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

Online Culture & Parenting

Social Networking, Facebook & Cyberbullying

K-12 Curriculum Development, TMS Custom Resources, Tools, Apps & Texts

TMS Production Menu (2006)

Collaborative, educational multimedia production poses many challenges. In a given learning environment, many factors must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, including the range of technical savvy among educators and youth, available technology resources, and the degree of technical support. This prevents a “magic bullet” prescription for media education through production, but it also provides opportunities for creative new media applications in virtually any situation!

Tools, Apps & Texts

Voicethread Tutorials & Resources

A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to leave comments in 5 ways – using voice (with a mic or phone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). Share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues for them to record comments too on any Internet enabled computer or mobile device (Apple only as of Fall 2012).

How we’ve used it

TMS has used voicethread in schools to engage multiple literacies, practice speaking and listening skills (esp. with ELLs), allow teachers and students to collaborate and communicate using multimedia asynchronously, allow students to deconstruct media (their own productions, or others’), create open-ended student or class reflection journals, create mixed media “living” publications, and more.

How to get started:

How-to Tutorials



Voicethread for Media Literacy Education