Net safety should be compulsory in schools?

By Derek Sooman on February 7, 2006, 12:27 PM
Safe usage of the Internet should be taught in schools, is the attitude of Dr Rachel O'Connell, the director of the Cyberspace Research Unit at the University of Central Lancashire. O'Connell claims that there should be compulsory classes in Internet safety and how to avoid online paedophiles. Given indications that these sorts of problems are very widespread on the Internet, this is probably a very wise recommendation.

It needs to be embedded throughout the curriculum," she said.

"Teachers [also] need to be up-skilled," she said, explaining many pupils have no lessons in internet use.

According to O'Connell, some 92% of nine to 19-year-olds now access the internet at school, but a third had received no instructions on doing so.

User Comments: 10

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sngx1275 said:
Perhaps it shouldn't be taught as a class, but rather during a general computer use or typing class or in the first part of a school year in a class that is going to involve people doing online research for class projects. I think it might be a waste of money to create a whole new class on the subject, but simply integrating it into an already existing class would be beneficial.
Cartz said:
sngx, I'm pretty sure that's along the lines of what she's suggesting. I don't think she intended to say it need be a full 4 month half credit course, but that there should be a few classes dedicated to specifically the topic of online safety.The don't take candy from strangers addage needs to be extended to the online world. I think however, the responsibility should lie specifically with the parents, and not the school system. I'm against the offloading of parental responsibility, especially when it comes to keeping your child safe from those who would harm him/her.
phantasm66 said:
[b]Originally posted by sngx1275:[/b][quote]I think it might be a waste of money to create a whole new class on the subject, but simply integrating it into an already existing class would be beneficial.[/quote]Agreed.
Vaulden said:
I know they have computer classes at least in the middle school my son went to. I'm sure as computers become more integrated into society (and schools obtain the necessary equipment) computers use and etiquette will be taught at an even younger age. Along with typing and how to use a computer I think it would be great to add this to the curriculum. In the classroom environment they could easily show kids what to look for, how to react, and what the consequences could be.And while yes it is ultimately up to the parents to teach our kids, as important a topic as this is it cannot be taught in too many places. I'm not saying to devote an entire course, or even have the schools pay someone to speak to the kids. It can't be a bad thing to have the subject touched upon in a class already devoted to the use of computers
Race said:
Initially, I was thinking that this is the parents responsibility, but after some thought, I believe it needs to go further than that.As the statistics indicate, the internet is becoming such a huge part of kid's lives, classes on safety and security should definitely be made available to them. I don't think it should necessarily be compulsory for everyone, but the fact that internet-enabled computers are readily available in many, and eventually all schools, faculties has some sort of obligation to educate their students in the safe and secure use of them.Something along these lines is what I would be in favor of:Mandatory for kids 15 and under.Kids over 15 can take the class for credit (not a throw-away-class, and hopefully giving students more incentive to enroll)With so many dangers out there, along with the bad things you hear about regularly on the news, it's a compelling reason for schools to address this issue.
otmakus said:
I'm sure the kids who are regulars in Techspot don't need to be taught about net safety anymore. :)
Need_a_Dell said:
This is ridiculous. Are the schools going to start providing a class geared towards safe surfing? Safe surfing is a no-brainer. Everyone knows how to "safely surf", and the only reason that people go to "unsafe" sites is because they're looking for it. People don't accidentally stumble across things they're not looking for, and if they do, the clikc the back button and get the heck out of there. These people looking to encorporate this into the regular school curriculum need to stop underestimating the technical savvy youth of today.
nathanskywalker said:
Wow, this is quite sad. Pathetic. Possibly necessary, but pathetic.
Mictlantecuhtli said:
[b]Originally posted by nathanskywalker:[/b][quote]Wow, this is quite sad. Pathetic. Possibly necessary, but pathetic.[/quote]How so?
MonkeyMan said:
I agree, they should teach kids about internet safety, because there is alot of garbage that is out there, and kids need to know about it, to prevent it.
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