Guiding Learners to Develop and Practice Citizenship

Our children operate in a connected society  (Gough n.pag.) where they share pictures, ideas, music, etc. with a couple of keystrokes.

We help our young learners prepare for college and for life when we guide them as they learn to navigate through any community.  Just as we review and practice CPR procedures at the beginning of each school year, we should review and refresh our understanding of the rules and regulations of online rights, privacy, and protection for our young learners.  Tom Whitby and Lisa Nielsen co-wrote and cross-posted the World’s simplest online safety policy.  While perhaps too simple as we grow our 1:1 program and more connected learning, it is worth a read and some consideration.

Students can access websites that do not contain or that filter mature content. They can use their real names, pictures, and work (as long it doesn’t have a grade/score from a school) with the notification and/or permission of the student and their parent or guardian”  (Nielsen n. pag.).

If you want to know more, please read their post.  They have good commentary and thoughtful information for teachers about FERPA, CIPA, and COPPA.

  • Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
    “The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a federal law enacted by Congress to address concerns about access to offensive content over the Internet on school and library computers. CIPA imposes certain types of requirements on any school or library that receives funding for Internet access or internal connections from the E-rate program – a program that makes certain communications technology more affordable for eligible schools and libraries” (F.C.C. n. pag.).
  • Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
    “The primary goal of COPPA and the Rule is to place parents in control over what information is collected from their young children online. The Rule was designed to protect children under age 13 while accounting for the dynamic nature of the Internet. The Rule applies to operators of commercial websites and online services directed to children under 13 that collect, use, or disclose personal information from children, and operators of general audience websites or online services with actual knowledge that they are collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13” (F.T.C. n. pag.).

When considering appropriate privacy, I think about my child.  I want her to learn under the guidance and tutelage of her family and teachers. At 7, she already asks to publish on her blog, and I want her to publish what she values.  I want her to learn to publish appropriately and responsibly.  She wants to learn and share.  I want her to learn, and when she makes mistakes, I don’t want her to hide what she is doing.  I hope she will have a network of caring, concerned friends, family, and teachers to help her self-correct.

A study by the Washington-based Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project released early this year found that 73 percent of Americans ages 12 to 17 now use social-networking websites, up from 55 percent in 2006.  (Davis n. pag.)

As learners, coaches, facilitators, and teachers, how should we communicate and collaborate to connect us to the world and the world to us?  How do we continue to learn and grow?  How will we serve and lead in a changing world?

How will we “open the classroom of the world for our students while helping them grow into wise, safe, and responsible digital citizens?”


Apple.  “Apple-iPod touch-TVad- Share The Fun.”  You Tube. Web. 09 Dec. 2011.

Davis, Michelle.  “Social Networking Goes to School.” Education Week. Web.  06 Jun. 2010

Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  “Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).”  Web.  11 Dec. 2011.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  “Frequently Asked Questions about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA).” Web.  09 Dec. 2011.

Gough, Jill.  “Social Media and my family.”  Experiments in Learning by Doing.  Web.  18 Nov. 2011.

Nielsen, Lisa, and Tom Whitby.  “World’s simplest online safety policy.”  The Innovative Educator.  Web.  3 April 2011.

U. S. Department of Education.  “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).”  Web.  09 Dec. 2011.

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