By Nancy Willard, Center for Advanced Technology in Education, University of Oregon, U.S.A.
A comprehensive new resource is available for school districts to guide the development of Internet policies and regulations to address the safe and responsible use of the Internet by students. Supporting the Safe and
Responsible Use of the Internet by Students: A Children’s Internet Protection Act Planning Guide was written by Nancy Willard, M.S, J.D. and is published by the Responsible Netizen program of the Center for
Advanced Technology in Education, University of Oregon.
The Guide is available online at http://netizen.uoregon.edu/documents/cipa.html.
Under the Children’s Internet Protection Act, districts must develop an Internet safety plan that addresses access to inappropriate material, safety of students when using electronic communication, unlawful
activities, and the unauthorized disclosure of student personal information. The Guide provides legal analysis and recommendations pertaining to the CIPA requirements and contains templates for policies,
regulations, agreements, and community information materials.
The Guide presents a comprehensive educational approach that seeks to protect the safety of younger students and empower older students to make safe and responsible choices in an environment that reinforces
accountability for those choices. The approach is grounded in the belief that because schools are the primary location where young people are learning to use the Internet, schools must play an important role in
preparing young people to use the Internet in a safe and responsible manner regardless of when, how, and where they have access. The Guide presents recommendations for the use of technology protection measures in a manner that reinforces the educational approach and does not result in educators being placed in a position of subservience to technology tools.
“Rather than placing primary reliance on fallible technology tools, we must assist young people in developing effective filtering and blocking systems that will reside in the hardware that sits upon their shoulders.” — N. Willard.