Be Kind Online

June 5, 2024 0 By Karlee Michael

Being born in the 90’s technology was just starting to show up in our classrooms and homes. At home screen time was very limited as when you were on the computer the phone was unable to be used. At school there were 2 computers in the classroom and maybe got time to be in the computer lab once a week. I remember while in the computer lab often we weren’t even on the internet we were using paint, word or other creative apps that were on the computer.  Around grade 4 I think I did my first research project where we got to use the internet to back up the books that we were also using for the project. 

3.5'' inch floppy disk

The only talk of cyber safety I remember our teachers having with us were comments that they could see everything we do on the computer and to not do something that we wouldn’t want them to see. In older grades our school used scare tactics and brought in our school resource officer to talk with us about cyber bullying and talk about the legal issues that come with it. I wish this conversation would have come from our teachers who I respect instead of a police officer who you only see when you are in trouble and they know kids fear. EMERGENCY SERVICES - Police Academy Cadet

I believe for something like the resource officer to work this needs to be someone who comes in more than once and do check in and follow through with what they said would happen to those who bully, I know they did not follow through with the consequences as I was bullied at school and on the internet after this chat and not much was done about it other then nicely talking to the students about it which did nothing. Parents were not notified or involved in the situation of their child being a bully which is one thing we were told by the resource officer would happen. 

remember when I was in high school SaskTel coming out with a program called Be Kind Online. To this date I still see posters and billboards about this program but I’m not sure what this program does for schools now or in the community. I believe we had them visit out high school and set up a booth in the hallway at lunch giving out information. I feel like that doesn’t do too much other then maybe get the name and program out their but I don’t think the information they are trying to share is getting far. The information only went to the students that stopped to talk to them. The students who probably needed this information would not be the ones stopping in the hall to talk to someone about online safety.  

Be Kind hand lettering. Motivational Quote

As a future teacher I am still questioning the proper way to approach digital citizenship with my students. I don’t feel like a scare tactic is the correct approach to take as I feel like we need to educate our students not scare them. I want to be open and honest with my students about what can happen online and how this affects them all throughout their life. I believe this conversation should start as soon as students are having access to technology in the classroom and the information shared should be appropriate for their age. How are you planning to approach cyber safety in your future classroom?