This podcast is a recording of my presentation on Internet safety and social networking at the Safe and Healthy Schools Conference in Oklahoma City on October 29, 2007. In this session, I encourage educators to move beyond “the fear factor” in discussions about Internet safety and online social networking. Generally adults help young people learn to drive safely before giving them car keys and turning them loose on the streets of the world. Young people also need guidance and adult assistance to learn how to safely navigate the virtual environments of the 21st Century. Schools must be proactive, rather than merely defensive, in helping students acquire the skills of digital citizenship needed today and in the future. Simply banning read/write web tools on school networks is an inadequate response: Educators must strive to learn alongside students and parents how these technologies can be safely and powerfully used to communicate and collaborate.

mp3 podcast


  1. Referenced links from this session (on PBwiki)

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4 Responses to Podcast200: Moving Beyond the Fear Factor With Internet Safety

  1. […] there who do a lot of important investigative work for you. My favorites are Will Richardson and Wes Fryer. In the end however you will have to decide on your own which technologies work the best for your […]

  2. I really enjoyed your podcast on Internet safety, Wesley…I think your approach is dead on. Teaching concepts of digital ethics, safety and citizenry within the context of using the tools makes too much sense. The more things we do with this stuff in schools, the more we’ll have the opportunity to engage young people in meaningful conversations about ethical use. While this podcast is quite long, I hope to be able to share this with our parents here at school.

    Keep up the good work!
    ~Matt Montagne
    University School of Milwaukee

  3. Wesley Fryer says:

    Thanks Matt. Yes, this session was longer, but actually that was nice because I usually just have 45 min or at most 1 hour for discussions like this. My favorite thing to do on this topic is hands-on workshops of at least 3 hours with adults, so they can get online on Facebook, MySpace, and other sites for themselves and explore. I’ve only been able to do this one time– last April at the Kansas State Dept of Education’s annual conference in Wichita. I am going to propose workshops like that more in the months ahead. I appreciate your feedback and wish you luck as you share similar messages with parents, teachers, and students in your area.

  4. Thanks for reporting on this story and helping to raise awareness about the need for Internet Safety.

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    This no-nonsense training provides parents with the information and skills they need to ensure they know the dangers online, and how to combat them. Predators, hackers, identity theives, scam artists and more.

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