Podcasting is an intelligent and a creative method to encourage learning and inspire students to take active part in curricular activities or group assignments. However, when it comes to using technology in any form, safety assumes center stage. This gets heightened especially when vulnerable children are involved. Educational podcasts are a form of accessing internet content and must therefore be regulated appropriately to avoid any safety issues. Here are a few tips that you can use to ensure that the children remain safe even as they learn using one of the most creative learning technique available.
Screen the podcasts as per your school’s acceptable internet usage policy
It is very important to comply with your school’s acceptable internet usage policy before proceeding to select a podcast for your students. Every district has a set of rules and guidelines when it comes to internet usage in schools. These rules are formulated in order to provide safe and only useful content to the children.
Get signed permission from parents
This process is usually completed at the beginning of every school year and is generally done at a district level. However, it is always good to let the parents know about their child’s education and activities at school. Asking for signed permission is a good way to accomplish this.
Check the reliability of the podcast source
While it is important to adhere to the internet usage policy and inform parents about the educational podcast, it is also very important to check the reliability of the source of the podcast. Despite all the security measure you take, there are chances of cyber criminals playing mischief with your chosen podcast. This may lead to the children being exposed to inappropriate content. Make sure that this does not take place. One of the ways to ensure this is by either getting the podcast downloaded wherever possible or by simply viewing it yourself to screen for any inappropriate content before green-lighting it for your class.
Inform students about safe internet practices
Many a times, internet safety is compromised unknowingly. It is always a good practice not to reveal personal information on the internet. However, children may unknowingly do so or download malicious web content and compromise internet safety. In order to avoid any such situation, explain everything about internet safety to the children. Before playing the podcast tell them about good and bad internet practices and the usage policy of your school. You may also create small cards displaying internet safety rules and place them near the computers so the children can review them as and when required.
When it comes to ensuring internet safety, you can never be too careful. So always remain vigilant when your class is viewing the podcast in order to avoid any breach of rules. Also, you must remember that safe internet practices depend vastly on the context of usage, nature of the children and the type of computers accessible to the children. Account for all these variables when formulating rules about internet usage. With this, you can ensure a fun and creative learning experience for all the children in your school.