It’s been a busy time since we first dipped our toes into the Ultranet. There has been an upgrade with new features. When students saw their Leaner Profile for the first time there was some ohs and arghs. One comment from one student which I can’t report here, but suffice to say it meant, ‘Oh gee, I am accountable for my own learning’. This feature will be used more extensively next year as staff get a handle on setting learning tasks for students. Parents soon will come on line and participate in their child’s learning progress at school via the ULTRANET.
As part of the process of being a member of the PLPS ‘WE” ULTRANET community and having a PROFILE that is visible to all PLPS school Ultranet users, it was timely to look at personal information and how to protect ourselves online in this DIGITAL WORLD. We all looked at types of personal info and what should be protected if we do not want a person to find or annoy us at home.
I showed them a video about a girl chatting with a supposed friend online and how easily she gave all her personal info away. This person was not who they said they were! It can be easy to give away information about ourselves in an instant. Online it is faceless and so much harder to know who is who…. so we have to be aware 100% of the time . We lexplored different scenarios from talking to strangers to a kid from another grade at our own school and online, mobile phone and ipad versions of the same things.
I also showed them the Roald Dahl web site that asked them to join giving away email and name. This posed a quandry. Is everything online that askes or requires personal info bad? No we need to do our homework and enlist the help of Mum, Dads and teachers to help guide our decisions.
The icons shown here are those associated with the student information provided for the Ultranet to schools. For more infor please see https://edugate.eduweb.vic.gov.au/sc/sites/Connections2010/Pages/Default.aspx
We divided personal info into top secret ie never write down things/share with anyone like passwords, PINs etc and each of the following;
“ME” personal information and things that are better I kept to oneself as they identify who I am, where I am and can lead to them finding out my secrets or even myself!!!!!!
“We” type information is that that can be shared within a group to which I belong and areknown to me but not necessarily my friends. For our purposes the ULTRANEt is an online community that is secure. All users have to identify themselves with user name and passwords and are part of the education system at a school. Only students and teachers at their own school can read their profile.
“See” information is very ambiguous, could relate to anyone and does not reveal much about ourselves to identify us. It can be a comment like favourite colours to favourite movies etc.
After we explored the Ultranet and created our Express profiles, this week we are looking at what responsibility comes with having access to such information. the next issue I will be examining in detail with all students is CYBER BULLYING what is it and showing children how to act responsibly with all kinds of digital information; Ultranet Profiles, Shared drives at school and digital photos, social networking, texting and IM.
I opened pandoras box with Year 5&6s telling them that reading someones profile, laughing about it, accessing it to make fun of someone is BULLYING and is not tolerable under any circumstances. Doing it behind someone’s back knowing that they would feel uncomfortable is also a form of bullying.
I showed them two videos giving examples of irresponsible behaviour online and the consequences for all involved. Several students unfortunately identified with them and looked sheepish indeed. Writing something mean in IM, text or on a site has consequences whether they are aware of it or not. Stuffing around with someones photo from a shared drive at school on a site is in teh same category. Posting something without the person’s knowledge is unethical and if its on You Tube is also illegal. These truths prompted some serious contemplation and made an impact that we will examine further next week.
Educatio is the key. Just ecause it seems fun to the perpetrator doesn’t make it OK. This is something children of this age are really aware of. I see it as my responsibility to start this awareness, start the dialogue, inform and equip my students to make the right choices when they find themselves in these situations. If they hear the sincerity and honesty of my voice in their head or remember something from one of my lessons and do the right thing…. I have done my job.
Children today have so many opportunities in this Digital Age but with them comes responsibility. Together we can all learn and become aware and become CYBERSMART.
For more info go to http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/