Internet Safety Tips for Charter Schools

Charter schools are a popular choice for parents looking for an alternative to public school and institutions. Just because charter schools are more selective with their admissions it doesn’t mean that issues can’t crop up regarding online safety. The internet is a magical place, but it can also be dangerous when children are given access to it unsupervised. Here are some internet safety tips for charter schools.

Internet safety is an important skill that must be taught to children beginning at a young age. More and more schools, especially charter schools, are implementing technology in the classroom. This includes lessons involving the internet and other online software applications.

As more and more charter schools offer classes online, it’s only right to ensure that the students are safe when taking those classes on the internet. So, how does cyber school work? For starters, children can enroll online and take classes via software offered by the charter school on their website. Enrolled students are given the necessary equipment to complete classes, including their own laptop and complementing software. This requires students to log into the system and use a computer to participate in their classes on a virtual classroom with a video camera for video conferencing when necessary. 

Charter schools should make sure that all of their students know how to operate safely on the internet. This includes never accepting or opening a file from an untrusted source, not engaging in chat rooms with unknown users, and staying away from cyberbullying. Students are required to take a technology orientation given by the tech department to ensure that students know the ins and outs of their computer, the network, and staying safe online. The technology department is always available to assist students when they need further help.

If a brick-and-mortar charter school decides to offer cyber school, it must make sure that the web portal it uses has a secure connection so that it cannot be hacked. The portal should also offer two-step authentication when students attempt to log into it for classes each day. If the web portal is not secure, a hacker can access the private information of the students and even crash the system so that classes cannot occur. Given that students are constantly connected to the web in online courses, additional safeguards are out in place to prevent accessing harmful or inappropriate websites.

For instance, at 21st Century Cyber Charter School's Cybrary (Cyber Library), the school provides an entire section on both online study skills as well as online safety. This is open to both students and parents. With lessons such as "Digital Safety," "Cyber Security," and "Being Savvy Online," students will learn all about how to maintain an online identity, as well as how to keep their personal information safe.

As long as students use the tools they are provided regarding safety and take the necessary precautions to keep themselves safe, the Internet will remain an excellent tool across the board for getting an education and reinforcing lessons taught.