As more students spend large chunksof study and leisure time online, schools
across the USA are adding coursework focused on privacy, cyberbullyingand
Many schools not only are incorporating Internet safety into lesson plans
but also shifting their focus from the pervasive"stranger danger" message
typically given to young computer users.
The idea, says Principal Chris Lehmann of Philadelphia's Science Leadership
Academy, is teaching students to be better "digital citizens." Freshmen at his
public high school are required to take a course in how to watch their digital
footprint —in other words, to be careful what they say on the Internet.
"All of the drama, all of the growing up, all of the growing pains, all of
the things we know happen in high school now also happen digitally," Lehmann
says. "Think of every mistake you made as a teenager. Now imagine making that
mistake in a permanent public forum."
Many schools around the country have adopted similar coursework. For
instance, at Schwenksville Elementary School near Philadelphia, librarian Joan
Curtis teaches fifth-graders how to recognize boguswebsites using a fake but
realistic "Librarian of the Year" site she created.
At Gresham-Barlow Web Academy, a charter middle- and high school near
Portland, Ore., all middle-schoolers are required to take an online safety
course that covers topics including cyberbullying, plagiarism and online
"ethical behavior," Principal Michael Harris says.
The digital training comes as research shows that Web usage is virtually
ubiquitous among kids. Though most students say they generally access the
Internet from home, 75% of teens say they go online at school, too.
New findings show that even young children spend time online. A national
survey released in October by the non-profit Common Sense Media found that 41%
of children 8 and younger have access to a smartphone and 13% have spent time on
social networking sites and virtual worlds.
Schools teach students to be waryof whom they meet online. Harris says
educators are concerned about older students as well as younger ones. "Even
though they're 15, 16 years old they're still pretty vulnerable," he says.
be wary of 提防；担心
be concerned about 担心；挂念
vulnerable adj. 易受攻击的；易受伤害的
Statistics show that online predationis rare —a Harvard study sponsored by
attorneys general in all 50 states found that being online "increases the
availability of harmful, problematic and illegal content but does not always
increase minors' exposure." It said kids most at risk are those who "often
engage in risky behaviors" and have difficulties in other parts of their
sponsor v. 赞助；发起 n. 赞助者；主办者；保证人
attorney n. 律师；代理人
"The whole 'stranger danger' thing was very much driven by parental alarm,"
says Barbara-Jane Paris, principal of Canyon Vista Middle School in Austin, who
testified before Congress in 2010 on cyberbullying.
The challenge, she and others say, is teaching kids that what they say and
do online can have immediate, profound consequences —and that an offhand cruelty
or indiscretion can last forever.
profound adj. 深厚的；意义深远的
offhand adj. 随便的；即时的
indiscretion n. 轻率；行为失检
"You can't indefinitely call somebody a (slurfor gays) and then just say,
when called to the table, 'I was only kidding,' "Paris says.