Imagine if there were no traffic rules, what would happen; people would drive as they wish leading to chaos and accidents. Similarly if there were no social and governing rules, crime rates would increase. The reason we have rules to govern us is to guide us to become better citizens and safeguard and promote the welfare of all people. The same principle applies here where there must be some standard rules to be followed for using the Internet. If there are no standard rules, or Netiquette, then people will use the Internet as they wish and this will result in serious problems.
Netiquette is important for everyone. Internet related crimes have become a new and rapidly growing genre of crime, or cybercrime, and teenagers and adults are accidentally or intentionally becoming victims or culprits. Parents trust you, the educators, to teach students about the significance of the Internet hoping that we will promote awareness about Netiquette practices to them.
School represents a place for discipline, learning, innovation, improving strengths and skillsets. We need to create awareness among students about the right and wrong practices about Internet usage. Students, Parents and educators are connected electronically and it is very easy to update information to parents and students and also receive information similarly. However the discipline and manners we exercise in our communication may not be always be reflected in the same way in the student’s communication. Communication devices such as mobile phones are also keeping students connected to each other and not just class friends but also neighboring friends, cousins and in some cases with strangers. We need to teach our students about the right online practices and also help them to use the Internet effectively for the right purpose.
In some cases, you may know more about your students than their parents. The way some students behave at home may not be the same at school and vice-versa. We need to observe how the students are interacting with each other in class and in the playground, for example, the way they address each other and the way they relate to each other. This observation will help you understand the way they communicate and correct them if need be to facilitate training in online communication. If you observe impolite behavior and disrespect among students, then you need to talk to them privately and counsel them.
Above all there needs to be a standard Netiquette policy to be followed at school. This is a serious need for every school as technology is handy and accessible. Netiquette practices should be taught and also assessed. Encourage students to subscribe to online blogs hosted on the school network. The school administrators should inform and take consent from parents about this practice and explain to them that this will help students to present their ideas correctly as well as expressing their opinions about social and educational issues. When students are made to submit blogs and articles, their writing skills can be evaluated by the school’s moderator who can view all the content posted on the blog and they will evaluate what each student is posting and commenting about other students blog articles. This will help us teach our students about the areas they need to carefully consider while posting any content online. Explain to them if someone were to write the same content to them, how they would feel. Teach them to respect and use this mode of communication effectively.
You need to ensure that Netiquette practices are amended and modified with regard to changing technological developments. If you are not keeping abreast of Netiquette changes, it can make you outdated and vulnerable to online risks.