Most students are active users of the Internet, whether via their desktop, laptop, iPad or smartphone. The Internet is a great resource, but it's important for you and your students to be aware of the challenges and issues that can occur online.
As a teacher, you're uniquely positioned to provide valuable guidance and insight for your students around areas related to online safety. We've compiled some tips for you to share with your students about different situations they may encounter online.
Twitter is a communications platform that brings you closer to the things you care about.
At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information called Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters long. You can also get links, see photos, videos, news stories and participate in conversations all directly in Tweets. To learn more, please visit the Twitter Basics help page.
Most of the communication taking place on Twitter is public and viewable to everyone. Since the information posted is public, some of this data may be made available or re-published on other websites. If your students want their Tweets only to be available to approved followers, they can protect their Tweets. Please keep in mind that any Tweets posted before they were protected may be available in search or through third party sites.
Passwords and accounts should never be shared. Remind students that it's important to log out of any websites they logged into on a shared computer, otherwise, other people may be able to access their information.
Learning about account security and taking proactive steps to keep your account secure is an important part of online safety. For detailed information read Keeping Your Account Secure.
Teens may feel like teachers are disconnected from their perspective and fear conversations about online safety will be awkward or embarrassing. Listen to how your students are using Twitter and other online mediums and take their online relationships seriously. Ask questions and perhaps even brainstorm together to come up with solutions to safety issues they have encountered.
Ask questions like:
Remind your students that not everyone has the same definition of what is private and what should be shared.
If a student’s friend or connection has posted information they would prefer kept private, suggest students communicate with the person who posted the information and request it be taken down. Likewise, encourage your students to be considerate of others. If someone requests they remove information that they posted about someone else, they should respect their privacy and consider taking it down. Students can read this Twitter Support article to learn how to delete a Tweet.
As teachers, you know teens say or write things that were not meant to be hurtful but that others found offensive or upsetting. Help teens evaluate whether or not something is okay to post by reminding them that if they wouldn't say it to the person's face, or out loud, they shouldn't say it online.
Students are often not aware that what gets posted online can hurt feelings, affect offline relationships and even jeopardize future college and/or career prospects. The nature of the Internet makes erasing content very difficult. Talking your students through a hypothetical example highlighting this may prove beneficial. Some examples are below:
Individual Tweets can be confusing when read outside of their intended context. Has your student seen something offensive online? Is the Tweet part of a larger conversation? Here are some tips to help you Consider the Context.
If a student is receiving offensive Tweets from another Twitter user, we generally recommend that he or she block that user and end communication. Ignoring the content shows unwillingness to engage in such interaction, and in most cases, the aggressor loses interest. Blocking the user also empowers the individual by preventing the blocked user from following them. ThisTwitter Support article explains how to block other users.
If the unwanted online behavior is persistent, it may be rooted in "real world" relationships.
If a student is experiencing repetitive cyber-bullying or interpersonal conflicts that are also taking place online, consider taking the following actions.
Many issues are likely to be resolved by working with the student’s parents who may not be aware of the situation. Encourage parents to talk about online safety issues that may arise. Responsible use of the Internet should be promoted at both school and home.
For more serious cases, involve the school administrator and be sure to know and communicate your school’s Internet safety policies.
Get to know the Twitter Rules and Policies.
After reviewing our policies, if you believe an account is violating our rules, encourage the student or their parents to file a report.
Twitter only removes profiles that are in violation of the Twitter Rules and Terms of Service. Please remember that as Twitter is a communications platform rather than a content provider, we do not mediate disputes between users.