Watching Your Students

Watching Your Studentsfrom 2007

Like many school districts that have computers with Internet access, there

are firewalls built into the system. These firewalls block students from accessing

porn, chat rooms, music lyrics that contain profanity, and many other sites that

are inappropriate for children and teens. Of course, no system is safe. In many

cases, students can override the firewall, and the firewall can also be over ridden

by the site the students attempt to access. There is no foolproof system in place

to protect kids (and teachers, who are charged with making certain kids are not

subjected to inappropriate web content), so teachers should put into place their

own classroom safeguards to prevent at the very least an embarrassing

situation, and at the most, censure by their employers.

Here are a few suggestions that can be effective:

Set up the computer center in the classroom so that it can be seen by the

teacher from all directions. Make certain you can see the monitors, and the

students cannot see you.

Set time limits on the computers to get assignments finished. Students will

be less likely to wander onto forbidden sites if they know their assignment is due

in twenty minutes, with no extension.

Have rules posted, such as No E-mailing Allowed and No Filling Out

Internet Forms. Give consequences, such as removal from the computer for a

certain time period.

Monitor students who are on the computersbe savvy; when you are not

looking, students will minimize the site you want them to use, and will quickly

maximize it over the one they want to go to. If you make it known to them that

you know what they are doing, they will think twice.

Computers are a wonderful tool to use to enhance learning and students

should be able to use them in an appropriate way. A few simple adjustments can

help make the experience pleasant for all.

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