Internet Safety and Searching
- Take responsibility for your children's online computer use.
- Keep the computer in a family room rather than in a child's bedroom.
- Set reasonable rules and guidelines for computer use by your children. These rules will decide the time of day the child can be online, the length of time they can spend online and the appropriate areas they can visit.
- Spending time online with your child is the best way to both learn about the Internet and to teach your children responsibility.
- Encourage your children to share their favorite web sites and help them discover new web sites that can help them with their homework or highlight their interests.
- Remind them that everything they read online may not be true.
- Remind your children that anything they put on the internet is not truly private (no matter what the security settings say) and never truly goes away.
- Investigate the various software filters that are available to block web sites you may not want your children to visit.
- Learn about the e-mail filter options provided by your Internet Service Provider (AOL, MSN, AT&T etc.) or the e-mail program you are using (Outlook, Eudora, etc.).
- If you find that your child is receiving inappropriate e-mail messages take advantage of the e-mail abuse services available through your Internet Service Provider (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, etc.).
- Teach your children never to give out identifying information such as home address, school name or telephone number, credit card number or password. Warn them never to respond to messages that make them feel uncomfortable and never to arrange to meet anyone they have met online without your permission.
Holy Child School at Rosemont educates all students about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response. For more information about Internet Safety see the following:
- Common Sense Media
- Cyber Bullying
- Digital Citizenship
- Growing Up Online
- Internet Safety Tips from the FBI
- Web Literacy Tips
- Webonauts Inernet Academy
- WiredKids - excellent information about "The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act" (COPPA)
Internet search engines can vary greatly in many ways. Some Internet search sites are designed to be directories while others are better used as pure search engines. For instance Yahoo is actually an Internet directory with an incidental search engine whereas AltaVista's strength is its keyword searching capability. Search engines also acquire their list of sites in different ways. Some rely on recommendations from web users, some use software to scour the Internet looking for sites while others employ real people to find and evaluate sites. Search engines also vary in their searching method preferences and the way they organize the search results. It is a good idea to take a look at a search site's FAQ's, Help or Tip Pages to learn more about the site.
Because there is no one "proof-reading" the Internet it is a good idea to evaluate the website and its content before relying on the information found there. Here are a few key points to consider:
- Who is producing the web site?
- How recent is the information? How often is it updated?
- What is the purpose of the web site?
- Is the web site promoting a point of view?
- Who is the main audience for this information?
- Is the web the best place to find the information you want?
Website Evaluation Checklists
For more information on Information and Media Literacy see the following:
Campaign Ad Critique
Center for Media Literacy
Common Sense Media
Critical Evaluation of Information - Website Evaluation (Kathy Shrock)
Fact Checking Sites (ISTE)
Family Education.com (Search for Media Literacy)
Google News (fact checking and headlines from different perspectives)
Internet Searching Tips (TechRepublic)
Living Room Candidate (presidential campaign commercial archive)
Ontario Media Literacy Homepage
Web Literacy Resources (November Learning)
Web Search 101 (Lifewire)
10 Ways to Spot a Fake News Article