Internet Security in School by Dana Hunt, Director of Technology

Internet Security in School by Dana Hunt, Director of Technology
Posted on 10/17/2017
Photo of Tech Director Dana HuntWhat will the world look like in 2030? We are already using artificial intelligence (AR), robots and virtual reality (VR). 50 years ago this technology only existed in movies and in our imaginations. Now we have refrigerators that let us view what’s in them from our phones, Siri changes our television channels and robots vacuums our floors. With a few strokes of the keyboard, we can be connected with someone half a world away. Rapid advances in technology are changing our world and we have to change with it.

With the growing use of technology, it is very important to help students understand that the internet can be a good thing, but it also can be dangerous. To accomplish this, we must teach our students about internet safety. Safety is the means to equip the student with information and the knowledge to practice safe online habits. There are several websites that are available to help teachers and parents teach their children safe habits while online. Some very good free ones are made by Google which are: "Be Internet Awesome", geared to third through fifth graders (https://goo.gl/sMw5CK) and "Interland" (https://goo.gl/B4BHn1).

The Mexico School District strives for a safe environment for our students. We have provided an outline of technology we use in the school district to parents and students. Parents were given an acceptable use policy to be signed and returned to the school. In addition to parents accepting this policy, students are also required to sign an acceptable use policy stating they understand the rules and guidelines required in using the district technology. Without both forms signed and returned the students will not be allowed to use any forms of technology. We use the internet as a tool to enhance the educational experience. We strive to use the most updated teaching techniques in hopes that the student will get excited about learning.

Internet safety will only become more imperative in the future as Mexico Public Schools is striving to reach it’s goal of becoming a one to one school system in grades 6-12. This would mean that each student will have their own device to use, so using it properly and safely is of utmost importance. At this time, students in K-8 only have the access to email within the school’s domain, which means they can only send and receive emails through mexicoschools.net. They are not exposed to inappropriate or junk email.

Mexico Public Schools is committed to taking every precaution to ensure the students are protected. We have in place a filtering system that will not let students access certain websites. We are making every attempt to teach and stress the importance of internet safety and being responsible while online. It will take the collaboration of not only the school district but the parents and students as well to accomplish this goal. Students today are growing up in a “digital world” with technology being a part of their everyday lives. Since technology will not be going away, we need to be sure to teach our students safe online habits.