I just finished reading a great blog by my good friend John McMillen over at Techucation. The blog was titled "Cyber Safety, Not Cyber Fears". John talks about how while it is important to ensure the safety of our users (faculty/staff/students), it also important to not that fear determine the tools we provide to them.
We have all heard the stories of cyber bullying, cyber stalking and the Internet predators. Please do not misinterpret my post to take that I think lightly of any of these terrible actions. Anyone guilty of these actions should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
However, I do believe it is our duty as educators to teach safe and responsiblie Internet use to our students, faculty and staff. Our users are already using these tools on a daily basis outside the walls of our classrooms. Rather than strip them of the right to use these tools altogether, shouldn't we embrace the technology and teach appropriate / safe use?
The state of Kentucky is currently preparing for a shift in the tools we are presented for communication, collaboration and sharing. As an educational technology leader in my state, I take it upon myself to champion these tools and speak to their capabilities and possibilities, not their potential dangers. It is my opinion, that if we take this approach with our end users and properly educate them, then not only will they become proficient Web 2.0 users, but they will continue to educate others on how to safely and securely use these tools.
JDS | CIO