Internet Safety For Students Learning Remotely

Providing Internet Safety For Students Learning Remotely

How do we keep them secure and protect their privacy? The home learning environment is a big change for students and parents alike.

This article addresses Internet Safety For Students Learning Remotely, and the inherent risks. It also discusses methods that both parents and students can use to stay safe online.

There are More than 50 Million K-12 Public School Students Learning Online This Year.

With more than 50 million K-12 students online, we need to provide acceptable Internet safety for students learning remotely from home. Although this situation was brought on during the Covid-19 Pandemic we will see the trend continue, at least to a certain extent. Online and remote learning offers many benefits, and for some students learning remotely, from their homes, will always be their preferred choice.

Students that learn online create additional responsibility for their parents. The parents not only need to be present in the home during the day, but also need to the things to ensure good internet safety practices are being put in place. It’s true that older children, over 12 years of age, probably know about Internet safety practices.

It’s the younger ones that parents must teach good personal cybersecurity practices to. However, just because a parent’s child, now their student, knows good internet safety practices that don’t mean they will always use them. Then, there are situations where the student has never a broadband Internet connection or a device that was suitable for oline learning. Households are being forced into having these learning technologies and must learn to use them safely, and securely.

What is Distance Learning?

We hear the term on a daily basis. Distance learning used to be just an option for our students, now it’s a requirement for many. To provide good Internet safety for our children that study remotely from home we need to realize what distance learning is. The Vice President and Dean at California State University Channel Islands stated the following:


Distance learning, also called distance education, e-learning, and online learning, is a form of education in which the main elements include physical separation of teachers and students during instruction and the use of various technologies to facilitate student-teacher and student-student communication.

Gary A. Berg, PhD, MFA

Distance learning presents many challenges, the least of which are the risks associated with a lack of Internet safety practices. Students who learn remotely from home may require guidance as to what are the best personal cybersecurity practices to use when distance learning. When we consider the following characteristics of online learning (distance learning) we realize the need for additional security and privacy practices to be put in place.

  • It is Not Self-study — Distance learning involves a specific curriculum instituted by an educational entity. It is an academic learning environment. These institutions can be accredited in the same ways traditional schools are.
  • Physical Separation — Not only are students and teachers sometimes physically separated by thousands of miles they often are in different time zones. There are often cultural and social differences within the group of students that online distance learning programs must overcome.
  • Electronic Communication — Without some type of communication between teachers and students (and students and students) online distance learning could not be effective. Email and discussion forums are essential to an online distance learning environment. That being said, at times it can be difficult to express your mood, attitude, or tone of discussion. Video conferencing software has helped with these issues.
  • Community Environment — The learning environment becomes a community of resources, teachers, and students. Like a social-media site, the members and content of the community share something, interests, likes, and other similarities. Unlike self-study or home-schooling distance learning can reduce the feeling of being isolated.

We are fortunate to have the technologies available to us to successfully incorporate distance learning into our live while providing good Internet safety for students learning remotely.

image - internet safety for students who learn online from home

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What is Online Safety for Students That Study at Home?

When we relate the term “Internet Safety” to students who learn remotely there are certain aspects that should be considered. The term is used and discussed in a casual manner when applying it to all students that learn on line. Online safety for students should not be stringent rules and policies. It should be common sense behaviors and good internet safety habits.

If our guidelines are too stringent they may lead to rebellious and possibly unsafe behaviors. Tell a student that they can’t do something, and they’ll find a way to do it. Think back when you were a student. Online safety is having the knowledge to avoid making mistakes that can jeopardize your safety of privacy. Policies should be made for students to follow, but not the types of policies that restrict access to Internet.

Parents Have Become Stay-at-home Teachers.

As stay at home teachers, we must rely on available resources. One of the best resources I know of is CommonSense.org. They have a large amount of content that is available for us, like “23 Great Lesson Plans for Internet Safety.” It offers many videos and lesson plans that we can use to teach Internet safety to our kids, the students in our house. The videos and lesson plans are broke down into sections that cover grades K-12.

Safety tips for kids online

Here’s a poster of good personal cybersecurity practices you can download. It makes some rules without actually be too forceful. This is a good poster to place in your children’s study area. It has some good safety tips for kids online.

list of best personal cybersecurity tips for students and kids

How To Ensure Safe Use of Technology For Students Who Learn Online

There are lots of Internet safety risks that students who learn remotely will be exposed to. There are general guidelines for internet safety for students learning remotely from home.

Here are 5 tips that can help you provide an environment that provides Internet safety for your student who studies online. Remember, as our children approach a certain age we may be forced to use less intrusive methods to ensure their online safety and protect their privacy.

1. Understand the threats and dangers yourself

You may need to learn some new things. You should know the dangers and risks that students who study online are exposed to. You can’t educate and protect them if you don’t know the risks. Here’s some areas to start your learning process:

  • Social Media Behavior – Learn the Do and Don’ts.
  • Learn About the Risks of Online Gaming.
  • Learn How to Spot a Phishing Attack.
  • Ensure You Have a Good General Understanding of Internet Threats Specific to Online Learning.

The more you know about the dangers and risks of online environments the better you relate it to your children. Here is an excellent website full of great information that will make “Talking to Your Child About Internet Safety” easier and more effective.

2. Have your children study in a common area

This allows you to be present if they need assistance. You can monitor the use of the computer and keep an eye on your children. There may be situations where you will want to be the only one with the login information for the computer to ensure you are always there when the children use it.

3. Know who your children are communicating with

Although you may have explained to your children that people on the Internet may not be who they seem to be, it’s still a good idea to know who they’re talking to. As our children learn they become better able to distinguish fake from real on the Internet.

It’s our responsibility to ensure Internet safety for students who study remotely from home. It’s a learning process. Don’t assume they always know better. To help keep our children safe while online we need to know who they are communicating with online.

When our children go to a neighbors house we make sure we know who those neighbors are and where their house is. It needs to be a similar scenario with online social behaviors. It’s all about keeping our kids safe, doesn’t matter whether it’s online, or in the real physical world.

4. Encourage behavior that protects your children online privacy

Make your children aware of the risks that are present when sharing photos and information online. Depending on the child’s age it’s possible they won’t fully understand the consequences. This is where the parent has to be slightly more intrusive. You need to know what information is being posted on social media accounts.

Location is another piece of information that your child should not share. Some Do’s and don’ts are hard to explain to a child without frightening them. Remember, we are trying to keep our children safe while online, not trying to scare the daylights out of them. It takes a subtle approach. The confidence and demeanor that you project will go a long way towards properly educated your child about the dangers of the Internet.

Make sure your children understand that everything post, picture, or personal information they put online may be permanent. There may be no way to delete, and even if you can delete it, it may have been saved on another device by someone.

5. Set a good example with your own online habits

Practice what you preach. Set a good example for your kids by conducting yourself and your online behaviors the same way you teach them to. Make it a point that your kids can see you being cautious online, and respecting fellow social media users.

picture-of student learning online focusing internet safety

Image by Pch.Vector


How to Stay Focused For Students Learning Online From Home

We want our children to be safeguarded from things like cyberbullying, malware, phishing attacks, and other types of scams. Our children, our students who learn remotely, must stay focused to have the awareness to avoid bad things and exercise practices that will help ensure Internet safety and privacy.

Time management – a key tool to staying focused

Time management means different things to each person. The thoughts a person has about time management can be as unique as they are themselves. Without a time management plan that works for you your ability to stay focused when studying online will be diminished.

Time management is all about your ability to manage yourself. You need to be totally involved in achieving your goals and making your priorities happen to effectively manage your time.

Summary of tips to help parents keep their kids safe online

5 Tips to Help Parents Help Kids

1. Understand the threats and dangers yourself
2. Have your children study in a common area
3. Know who your children are communicating with
4. Encourage behavior that protects your children online privacy
5. Set a good example with your own online habits

Follow this link to learn more about how to manage your time.

Download this infographic here (Pdf). 9 tips to stay focused when learning from home. I post a copy of it at the doorway to my study area. Use these tips for 30 days consciously, and they will become a part of your normal routine.


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Internet Safety For Students Who Learn Remotely From Home

Additional resources:

Read more: Guide to Online Parental Controls

Read more: Stay Focused When Studying Online

Read more: Keep Your Children Safe While Online

Read more: How to Teach Internet Safety to Elementary Students

Read more: More Rules to Follow to Protect Your Child Online

Featured image by VectorPouch

Updated 06/03/2021 by Kirby Allen