Educators are increasingly using technology to engage students and enhance their learning styles. However, with new advancements in technology, comes a new set of challenges for teachers and educators. These challenges include being proactive to objectionable online materials as well as establishing guidelines for using technology in the classroom. In his blog, Risks Involved in Integrating the Internet Into the K-12 Curriculum, Bernie Poole shares several solutions to combating the risk of students viewing unsuitable material online. These solutions include use filtering software, be a vigilant teacher, create acceptable terms and use policies, and talk about the potential issues with students. In addition to these solutions, there should also be a set of classroom rules or guidelines established for student use of technology tools. Jessica Sanders contributes her thoughts to this in her blog 10 Classroom Rules for Using Technology. These rules include: never give out personal information, ask for teacher’s permission before downloading or printing anything, do not change settings without permission, only visit sites that have been pre-approved by the teacher, tell the teacher if you see something that makes you uncomfortable or if you think it is inappropriate, pick up after yourself, do not eat or drink around technology devices, be gentle with mouse and keyboard, and plug in any devices that are not currently being used.
Although there are many risks involved with integrating technology in the classroom, teachers still want and need to give students the opportunity to explore these new tools. Both Poole’s and Sander’s blogs provide great solutions and guidelines for giving students the freedom they need to explore these different technology tools while still maintaining their teacher’s expectations.