Lesson 2
 Safety Guidelines for Telecollaborative Projects

It is important to consider the safety of you students before exchanging information with anyone on the internet. Each type of exchange will require different safety and behavioral considerations, however, there are some general safety guidelines a teacher should follow when setting up a telecollaborative project.

Acceptable Use Policies
     When your school came online with the Internet, your students and parents should have signed an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). This policy was most likely created by your district or building technology committee or perhaps the media specialist. If your district does not have an AUP, you should consult an administrator about this issue. It is very important that your students and parents understand what your school considers "Acceptable Use" on the Internet. Students that have not signed an AUP (or their parents have not signed it), should not participate in this classroom information exchange. Take time in class to review the safety rules that they agreed to when they first signed the AUP.

Safety Guidelines
You may want to consider designing a hand-out that lists the safety guidelines you have chosen for you class. Following are some general guidelines:

  • Don't give your full name; use your first name and last initial or a nickname
  • Don't give out personal information such as your address, phone number, parents work address, etc.
  • Don't send your picture to anyone, especially a picture of yourself alone.
  • Never agree to meet anyone in person whom you've met online without parent or teacher supervision
  • Never share a password for an Internet account, game, chat room, etc. with anyone online.
  • Notify the teacher and/or parent if you receive a message that is suspicious, obscene, or violates your school's AUP.
  • Don't attach pictures or other files to an e-mail message unless the person receiving the message has given you permission. Viruses can sometimes be transferred this way. Don't open attachments sent to you without first discussing this with your teacher.


  • Make sure your principal is informed about and approves of your classes participation in school-sponsored e-mail exchanges.
  • Make sure parents are informed about and approve of their son/daughter's participation in school-sponsored e-mail exchanges.
  • Make sure all students and their parents have signed the district's AUP.
  • Talk with your students about why these precautions are necessary.

Additional Safety Resources
Browse through the following resources to gather additional information about safety on the internet:

Assignment Tele2A: Acceptable Use
In order for your students to participate in a telecollaborative project, they must have the necessary permissions to use the Internet at school. In order to expedite this, complete the following tasks:
  1. Determine the process for students to be authorized to use the Internet in your school.
  2. Obtain a copy of your district's (school's) AUP.
  3. Determine if the students in your classes are authorized to use the Internet at school. Have they read and signed your district's AUP? Have their parents?
  4. If any of your students are not authorized, take the necessary steps to make sure they complete the process.
Verify for your site trainer that you have completed this process (ie: you could explain the process of authorization, show them that you have obtained a copy of the AUP, provide them with a list of your students authorized to use the internet, etc.). MAKE SURE to include the number and name of this assignment.

Assignment Tele2B: Safety Guidelines
Complete (via email to your site trainer) ONE of the following:
  1. What additional safety/use guidelines, procedures, or classroom management techniques would you add to the above when involving your particular classes in a telecollaborative project? Or, when taking your students to the computer lab for an internet activity?
  2. Discuss a "real-life" incident where you had a student violate either the school's AUP or your guidelines for internet use in your classroom. What was the incident? How was the incident handled? Would you do anything differently the next time?
  3. Do you think filtering software should be installed on your school computers? Discuss the pros and cons of doing this.
MAKE SURE to include the number and name of this assignment.

Next: Lesson 3 - Keypals
Previous: Lesson 1 - Organizing a Telecollaborative Project

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