Internet : How to help students use it safely for educational purposes

By Farooq Ahmad Bakloo

The Internet is the blessing that has revolutionized every sphere of human life. This Internet has defined life differently. With the appearance of the Internet, a lot of obstructions were explained, which first seems impracticable. The Internet has begotten the vast and unprecedented doors and opportunities for children and young people to communicate and socialize, share learn access information and express their views on matters that affect their lives and their communities while posing significant dares to their security. Every dimension of life has been developing very swiftly. Among these dimensions, the educational sectors are also evolving by this information and technology.

First, a common student couldn’t listen to the country’s lectures of prestigious institutes as he could not pay a significant amount of fee. However, because of the Internet, the students need a Smartphone and internet connection. The student can access the country’s best instructors and listen to their thought-full lectures with the help of YouTube. Other educational learning applications like Google classroom, Zoom App, Google meet Watsaspp learning groups. Consequently, somehow, the Internet plays a valuable role in rendering equitable education in society compared to traditional schools. If we look at these physical schools, they are designed according to the class of society. For instance, the students who have sound economic status are enrolling their kids in best public school, while as a person who has not much significant income register their kids in Government schools, henceforth the present schooling system are itself impediment in the way of accessing equitable education.

However, one cannot deny that the Internet is the spring of information. Just on one click a lot of information is presented on the desktop or mobile screens. In this information, some info is relevant to the student needs, and some are not, and some information is not reliable.

The thought that survives in society all information on the Internet is genuine has not much weight.

Another facet of the cyber world is very risky and gives food towards illicit ventures. If the student came to the web of this world, his or her life is ravished completely and often these types of persons become the pathogens for a good society. To shield the citizens from this world’s trap, every nation has formulated the guidelines and establishes some institutions to watch these illegal activities. In India, the famous is cyber cells which have given the responsibility to monitor these malicious activities. Therefore, it depends on the society if they use this Internet for the perspective of human development. For this society, the Internet is a benefit, and the community which uses it in the negative context, for them, the Internet is a scourge. A global youth online behaviour survey conducted by Microsoft reported that 53 % of children with 8-7 age groups in India have cyberbullying victims. Most of the cyberbullying incidents arise out of social media, and Facebook encounters comprise 60% of these incidents.

According to the survey, mobile phones and online rooms were second and third, comprising 40% cases (www.child protection india.com).

In the present, the corona virus has impacted the world brutally; the world went to the lockdowns to curb this deadly virus. In this situation, the most affected sector is education as the schools, colleges, universities were temporarily closed. In this way, the conventional classroom was transferred into the virtual classroom. The students were directed to study their classless online, so now they become entirely dependent on the Internet. Hence the parents of the teenage students must watch the activities of students.

Sometimes the students are using the Internet for the study objectives, and abruptly an inappropriate popup is shown in the corner of the screen. If the student is using the Internet for the first time, he or she becomes inquisitive. He or she most probably searches these types of material. Consequently, with passing days, the students are steadily losing reading interest, and the student is visiting these unwanted pages. One more element which is seen in from some years, that is the hatred stuff against some communities posted by some communal minded people. This type of content also designs the student’s neurons if quickly not corrected by the teachers or parents. Hence, it is very urgent for the parents and the teachers to aware the students regarding the poisonous effects of the Internet on the students.

According to the USA department of education, there are seven ways to keep children or students protected online, these are:

Aware the children protect the children’s identity, Protect the Computer, Create strong passwords, Monitor the online activity and Promote an appropriate online environment.

The first task is awareness, so it is imperative to aware the children or students about the cyber world’s adverse repercussions and its implications for their community and society. In this process, the teachers and the parents play a spine role. Those parents who himself are not aware of the black side of cyberspace, here teachers and those who are well aware of the Internet’s ill impact also play a heart role. Therefore it is the collective responsibility of teachers, parents and those who have good knowledge about the cyber world.
The next job is to protect the children’s identity; it is the parents or teachers’ responsibility that they protect the children’s identity. It has been noticed that several parents and teachers are clicking the pictures of the children and then uploading them on the Internet just for some likes and comments. But they should know it is not proper or appropriate to uncover the identity of the children. There is abundant software like morphing the pictures in the cyber world, which sometimes becomes fatal. Hence these things should be kept in mind.

The third vital point is to protect the computer or the gadget on which these children access the Internet for study purposes. At home, the parents should check the devices often. Update the software frequently to protect their children. The teachers in the schools should do the same work.

Another US educational department guideline is that the parents and teachers should attentively monitor their online activities. Here, teachers and parents can use some technological instruments to vigilante their children’s actions; these tools apply Covenant Eyes. The application that monitors online activity runs both in mobile phones and computers. This application captures the screenshots of screen activity and feeds them in the device.

Protect young eyes; it is another educational resource that presents the information to anyone in regards to age, gender, and religion. Hence this is also a constructive tool to protect the eyes from the black cyber world.
The next tool is Circle with Disney. With the help of this application one can control and set limits and manage content across the devices used by the children from smartphones to computers. It is the parental control network.

Another thing is that the parents and teachers should provide the appropriate social environment and sufficient social capital to engage their children with excellent social circles.

The BARK application is also one of the parent control applications working on both smartphones and computers. This application keeps watch on social media, emails and texts or any suspicious activity and reports the parents.

The next tool is to Protect young minds, and help the parents if their children are accessing inappropriate material from the Internet.

These are some tools that can help parents and teachers watch children or students’ activity. But the problem is that everyone does not access the application. These types of parents should sit with their children and talk with them about the devastating effects of the Internet.

According to the Child online protect an organization. The following steps help the parents or teachers to make safe the online accessing of the children or students, these are :

  • Have a dialogue with the children, identify the devices and technology and monitor that at home.
  • The schools should ensure the content which they are presented to the students.
  • The path of filtering and controlling the gadget.
  • Have continuous communication with children or students.
  • Parents must know the children’s online friends.
  • Keep the reading computer in the open space of the house.

At last there is a need for more unconventional student-friendly material like unique separate portals for the education purposes. The states should look into these matters with gravitation and ensure a good learning online environment. There is also a need for special devices like Educational Capsule Devices for education instead of smart phones. These educational capsule devices should contain only educational content and nothing else, this.

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The author can be reached at Email : farooqmajeed19@gmail.com

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