This has been an issue that comes up often when you start talking about ways to connect students ‘globally’. As a father, it is certainly a concern as my daughters start to navigate the online world.
We cannot be naive about the online world and its capabilities. Some educators only talk about the good and some parents and watchgroups talk mostly of the bad. However, I think, like many issues, there are both sides to consider.
There are many things we can do using technology that we couldn’t before. There are also many creepers out there and teaching our children about proper ways to keep them safe is not about censorship but about protecting the innocence and privacy of our young ones. (I speak, primarily from an Elementary age perspectives-I think some of the things can apply to older kids, but the application is different as they grow older.)
Common Sense Media has a Digital Citizenship curriculum that can be used as a way to walk through some of these issues or as a resource to help us equip our kids to be responsible citizens, digital or not. This is a topic that could go on, but my time is short.
Be sure to check it out.