With ominous acronyms being thrown about such as CIPA and FERPA and COPPA, it’s no wonder educators are running scared when it comes to internet use and that filtering companies are profiting from the culture of fear that results. Unfortunately, doing what is most convenient (blocking and banning sites) is often not what is best for children or teachers. It is not uncommon for the tech-savvy teacher to throw up her hands because too many sites are blocked to be able to work effectively. Students have similar frustrations. The reality when it comes to filtering is that schools have not lost funding due to opening up access to valuable content for children. Of course this must be done responsibly, but it does not require the costly filters that don’t exist in the real worlds of our children.
Here are some ways you can empower children to stay safe at school and in the world and they don’t cost a dime.