Monday, January 12, 2009

Internet Safety: A Different Approach

I spoke on the topic of Internet Safety at Vienna Elementary's PTA meeting last Tuesday. I appreciated the warm reception I received from the PTA members and those who stayed for the discussion. I felt past Internet Safety workshops/ presentations I had attended had occasionally been disproportionately negative in dealing with Internet safety. The presentations would sometimes outline all the "doom and gloom" of the Internet and leave the audience feeling they should cancel their ISP and disconnect the computer. I opened with a short clip from the PBS Frontline series "Growing Up Online" (included below) where Danah Boyd addresses the need for us as a society to deal with the fact that living online is an inevitable part of life in this age. I tried to frame my presentation around this idea. Internet Safety needs to take a balanced approach and deal with the education to create responsible digital citizens rather than just outlining the dangers on the Internet.

video retrieved from youtube

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