1. Accessing sites with inappropriate materials
This will always be an issue irregardless of the measures schools take. I believe the best way to deal with this is to continually engage students in regards to the potential harm from inappropriate materials. Besides, most students today carry their smartphones which gives them access to the Internet 24/7 even outside of the school environment.
2. Safety and privacy issues for students
Again, most students don’t quite understand why this is a big issue. I find most students still sharing more information than needed on the social media. Once again, by sharing various case studies we can educate the students about safety and privacy issues. Understanding exactly what actions lead to compromises will help students to understand the importance of Internet safety.
3. Fraud on the internet
This may not be a critical issue for most school going kids who don’t have credit cards for making online purchases. Nevertheless fraud can still happen in their interactions with the social media where one can be coerced to share important information.
4. Copyright and plagiarism issues
This is definitely a big issue in schools, as more and more students realise they can find information on almost anything on the Internet thus tempted to plagiarise. Academic honesty must be taught and expected from a young age thus building a positive habit in doing one’s work. Often, I noticed students are taught and expected to be honest only during their exam assessments. But old habits die hard as they’ve been so used to taking information from various sources without referencing.
5. Computer viruses and hacking
This is also a big issue as I often hear students saying their email accounts has been hacked. They also have multiple accounts of email and social media with very weak passwords. Life is fast paced that often they don’t pay attention to details related to safety. Just like the other ICT problems, education plays an important role. The importance of safety needs to be continually addressed to reinforce their convictions. Teachers have to discuss and rationalise the importance of good ethical behaviours.
As much ICT has become a silver bullet in making the learning experience more meaningful (at least for me in teaching Math), to deny its challenges is a great folly. Careful consideration must be made in the planning stage in integrating technology and possible challenges must be addressed adequately. In my planning my lessons, safety and plagiarism issues are the one I need to address.