Part I: Internet Safety and Ethics
Internet use has become a natural part of my everyday life. I have used the internet for at least 11 years to email, shop, and access information on everything from preschools to the scary rash on our new “stray” cat. I have also turned to the internet as a tool to find lesson ideas, as well as to conduct graduate and professional research. Furthermore, I have recently realized that the online social networks are not just for kids – there are excellent professional networks and tools available.
As I look for ways to integrate technology in my elementary art classroom, free online applications such as Zoho, EduBlogs, Wikis, CamStudio, and Toondoo have become my new best friends. Currently, I am a member of ArtEducation 2.O and I recently signed on to Twitter. These platforms provide an opportunity for me to meet other professionals, artists and graduate students from around the world. We share ideas, resources and the occasional funny story.
While I relish the possibility of such connectedness at my fingertips, I have begun to worry about personal information floating around on the Web. Haven’t many of us come to trust Web use enough to enter our email address on just about anything, our credit card number and address for purchases? Don’t we access our financial records, complete our taxes online and even post photos of ourselves and family? Just today, Gary Storts was sitting next to me at the Web2.0 seminar at the University of Memphis and he showed me the newest, most amazing little tool (just a tiny scary) from Google Maps called “Street View.” Watch the screen capture below:
Google's "Street View"
I clicked on a random city street... feel free to type in your own home address and see if there is video. Oh sure, this would be a great tool for finding a friend's house for the first time BUT what about stalkers???? What if I was checking the mail in my mismatched pj's and rumpled hair as the camera guy drove right past my house? Maybe I am making too big of a deal about this but it feels just a tad creepy.