My Technology Integration Project involves having students create a blog that shares the information they have researched regarding infectious diseases and the effects of our current Covid-19 pandemic. Through an online community they can see other student’s ideas and learn how to appropriately comment and interact with their peers online. This blog will also allow for the integration of different forms of media such as videos, pictures, online text and hyperlinking. Due to the potential risks involved in having students create a blog, I think it is important to develop a digital safety plan so that these risks can be reduced and students can learn how to search safely and effectively online and understand how to report any concerns they may have (Becta, 2010).
- Students might encounter and rely on false information during online research.
- Students might engage in cyber-bullying when leaving comments on other students posts.
- Students may post information about themselves or personal pictures on their blog.
- Students may engage in copyright infringement if they do not use pictures or videos with creative commons licensing for their blog posts.
Strategies to Eliminate, Reduce, or Mitigate Identified Risks:
- Mitigate risk of students using false information by starting with a lesson on information literacy skills so that students know where to find reliable sources and understand what types of websites are appropriate for educational research.
- Eliminate or reduce the risk of cyber-bullying by informing students that I will be reading all comments posted on the blogs. I will also constantly remind students to inform a trusted adult if they feel they are receiving inappropriate comments on their blog posts.
- Eliminate the risk of students posting personal information to the public by having students use the WordPress’s privacy settings so that only students in the class know the password and can access the information.
- Eliminate or reduce the risk of copyright infringement by incorporating a lesson on how to access creative commons media and how to appropriately reference the source of the media.
Digital Safety Plan:
- Make sure that all students have signed and returned our school’s media consent form.
- Provide students with clear instructions on how to post privately on their blogs.
- Provide students and parents with written expectations for the assignment, including: that they need to follow the provided guidelines for commenting on their peers blogs, that they need to use pictures and videos with creative commons licensing (provide them with websites such as pixabay, pexels, Wikipedia commons) and that students must make each post private and password protected.
- Provide students with links to credible resources to conduct their research.
- Ensure that students create a blog using their district email address and not their personal one.
- Consistently monitor students posts and comments.
Becta. (2010). Safeguarding children online. Retrieved from http://courses.olblogs.tru.ca/eddl5101/files/2012/10/safeguarding_children_online_risks_poster.pdf