Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, news, and advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

Written by Paget Hetherington
on June 15, 2020

June is National Internet Safety Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness about online safety for children and teens. In the digital world, young people are particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying, breaches of privacy, phishing, and the transmission of unwanted content. This is why it’s essential to build awareness around internet safety for children, teens, parents, and educators.

Everyone Plays a Part in Promoting Online Safety
When it comes to protecting students online, the decisions young people make are one of the biggest factors in their safety on the internet. It is important to teach students safe internet habits, including discretion with personal information, keeping passwords private, and communicating with adults when they feel unsafe.

Parents also play a crucial role in protecting students online, as they are most likely to witness the emotional effects of cyberbullying or other struggles their students are facing via the internet. Some signs of cyberbullying that parents are likely to see in children at home include emotional distress, withdrawal from friends, avoidance of school or social gatherings, slipping grades, and changes in mood, behavior, sleep, or appetite.

At school and when teaching in an online setting, teachers have a unique opportunity to help direct students toward successful digital citizenship skills and taking ownership of their lives online. Even though students have grown up alongside technology, it’s likely that they aren’t completely aware of how to use the internet responsibly, as online interactions have probably become second nature to them. By introducing internet safety and digital citizenship into your regular curriculum, you can help protect students online by giving them the skills and knowledge to protect themselves.

A Proactive Approach to Protecting Students Online
On the schoolwide and district level, administrators, technology consultants, and district leaders have the ability to further protect students online by taking a proactive approach and incorporating a safety management solution. With Gaggle Safety Management, a combination of machine learning technology, expert review by trained safety professionals, and direct contact with district leaders ensures students are constantly being protected from potentially harmful content. Starting July 1, districts using the full student safety solution will be eligible for web filter support and Gaggle’s SpeakUp for Safety tipline free of cost. This new bundled service will help school districts deploy a stronger digital safety net to protect students around the clock.

With all parties focused on the important steps to creating a safe online experience for young people, the internet can be a safe and healthy place for discovery, learning, and communication. Between healthy internet habits, digital citizenship curriculum, student-parent-teacher communication, and a districtwide safety management solution, you can be sure that your students are always protected online.

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