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Mimishu1995's avatar

Europeans and Americans, do they teach you how to use the internet properly at school?

Asked by Mimishu1995 (7911 points ) March 17th, 2014

Some months ago I read about a high school girl who was suspended from school for a year for posting a very negative status on Facebook, basically defaming the school, teachers, tests… What she posted was a reworded, school-defaming version of the Declaration of Independence, and according to her, she didn’t write it herself. She only copied the original version somewhere and pasted it onto her wall, and replaced the original’s school name by her school name.

One teen magazine criticized the suspension as “an ineffective educating method”. It stated that teachers were unable to teach students how to use the internet properly, how to distinguish between good things and bad things on the web, and after things like that happened they just suspended the student, as if it was all the student’s fault. It also mentioned a little that in Western countries, students are taught how to use the internet properly, not like in my country, where students receive no guidance on how to use the net and lead to many negative outcomes like that above-mentioned incident.

Is it true that Western countries have special course for using the internet? Do they teach you how to use the internet properly at school?

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27 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

You are placing your own opinion of what is proper use of the internet into your question. My children have been taught how to conduct searches, and also how to stay safe on the net. And they have also had general education on appropriate use of social media.

But a lot of it still depends on involvement of the parents, making sure kids know what is appropriate and what is not.

GloPro's avatar

I’m too old to know about specific courses, but that seems unlikely unless it’s a one-day lesson.
There have been many cases in which teens have been punished for improper use of social networking. Bullying, for example, can get you suspended. Defamation has gotten a few students banned from the prom. I would think that it is at least discussed in school, otherwise the boundaries are not known, and not able to be used to pass down punishment.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@zenvelo I don’t place any of my opinion here. This is what I took directly from the magazine.

turtlesandbox's avatar

Look at these two examples:

1.) The year is 2014. A high school girl is suspended from school for a year for posting a very negative status on Facebook.

2.) The year is 1984. A high school girl is suspended from school for a year for painting a very negative statement on a bathroom stall.

The problem has nothing to do with the form of communication that is used. It has everything to do with manners and respect.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@turtlesandbox I don’t need to know about manners and respect because it’s clear that the girl is wrong. What I want to know is if the magazine is telling the truth about the using-the-internet courses at Western schools.

whitenoise's avatar

My kids have received classes on how to responsibly use the internet.

At their school in Holland, as well as at the international (British) school they now attend.

ragingloli's avatar

Of course!
Chapter 1 was titled “The best porn streaming sites”

bolwerk's avatar

The case the OP notes has nothing to do with “proper” Internet use. It has to do with proper use of authority, which the school needs to learn about. The school is a public institution and it is within the girl’s rights to criticize it on a public or semi-public or private forum. It might be less extreme, but the school’s behavior echos the sanctimonious authoritarianism of doctrinaire Islam.

@turtlesandbox: there is a rather significant difference between posting on a Facebook wall and posting painting in a high school stall. The latter is vandalism that damages the school’s property, and the former does not damage the school’s property (and doubtful its reputation). This is a legal distinction, of course. Any politician or lawyer would have to recognize this.

@Mimishu1995: the Internet was still pretty new to mass education when I was in school, but we were taught to only use it for research and academic purposes. We weren’t allowed to do anything else. Of course, we did. And we rarely had trouble evading their primitive filters. I’m sure things are different nowadays

ragingloli's avatar

@bolwerk
Why limit it to Islam?
It echoes the authoritarianism of the western world 50 years ago, too

bolwerk's avatar

@ragingloli: no limit, just a comparison as most literate-ish people are familiar with fatwas. Most dumber people have no idea what the western world was like 50 years ago, unless they remember/masturbate to its excesses

Stinley's avatar

My older daughter is in high school and is taught ICT 3 times a week. They learn how to use the internet safely. They are encouraged to use the internet to do homework.

My younger daughter is in primary school and they recently had an external teacher come into tell them all about internet safety.

My question though is: what were the school doing looking at some girl’s Facebook status? My husband is a teacher and it is a suspending matter for the teacher if they fraternise with students on Facebook. This is policy in many schools in the UK. What a pupil does out of school is no business of theirs. Anywayd they should not be concerned about what some lone teenager thinks of their school – no-one would pay the slightest attention to it. They have blown the whole incident out of all proportion.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Mimishu1995 “I don’t need to know about manners and respect because it’s clear that the girl is wrong. What I want to know is if the magazine is telling the truth about the using-the-internet courses at Western schools.”

I’ve been educated on proper use of computers since grade 4 in America, yes.

We have this thing in America about Free Speech. Social media like FB is her personal account and those are her personal feelings, so there is a line there that is up to the individual to cross or not.

JLeslie's avatar

This is a good question. I don’t know the answer, but I hope schools do talk about safety issues regarding the Internet and also good ettiquette, bullying, etc. Teens should know they can go to jail, and/or have a record for the rest of their life if what they did on the internet, email, or texting is sexual in nature and the people are underage.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Stinley What were the school doing looking at some girl’s Facebook status?
According to the magazine, it seemed that the girl’s status got a lot of likes and comments, and it became quite popular in her school, to the point that it caught the authority’s attention. Somehow they managed to find out the exact location of the status, and you know the rest.

My husband is a teacher and it is a suspending matter for the teacher if they fraternise with students on Facebook.
I don’t think that girl added any teachers to her friendlist and vice versa. There is a long distance between teachers and students here and unless a teacher is very friendly, very insightful about students’ mind, very sympathetic and gain popularity among students, there is no such thing as a student adding a teacher to their Facebook friendlist.

They should not be concerned about what some lone teenager thinks of their school – no-one would pay the slightest attention to it. They have blown the whole incident out of all proportion.
That’s what I wish too. Those school teachers have such a big ego and they just can’t let such “backbitting” get away safety. In many ways they are blowing the whole situation up.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Mimishu1995 If they can suspend her, that seems like a legal issue honestly.

Symbeline's avatar

The internet was just beginning when I was in school. Unlike today it wasn’t a primary tool for much of anything, at least not school related. We did have small classes used to teach us the basics of how to use the internet, but back then there wasn’t anything like Facebook. The first ’‘social’’ site I was on was called The Belly. It had little games and a chat room, very primitive by today’s standards.
That said, there was still a lot of offending stuff to be found, which I discovered happily. Surprisingly the school didn’t really monitor much, you just had to be careful not to be spotted by a teacher while checking out rotten dot com lol.

fundevogel's avatar

@Symbeline Good lord. Probably the first bit of internet to make my eyes bleed.

Symbeline's avatar

After all these years, the site is still around, too. Granted, half of it doesn’t work anymore, but it’s still out there. I had that, and GoreGallery.

Symbeline's avatar

Yeah lol. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t really enjoy that kind of site, and I’m long passed the morbid curiosity phase of checking em out. But you always have the whole curiosity thing, especially when the net was new to me back then and I’m like, dude, I can CHECK OUT ANYTHING…seriously, some of that stuff prevented me from sleeping, literally haha.

fundevogel's avatar

Yeah, there was nothing like rotten for teaching what you didn’t want to know about the world.

Symbeline's avatar

For sure. The only thing I’ve seen that was worse than that…someone actually posted that here on Fluther; a site that showed shitload of photos of dead children. God. :( Why the hell anyone would enjoy that I do not know, unless they’re some twisted psychopath.

fundevogel's avatar

Ugh. I get the importance of something like that forensically, or historically, but still, ugh.

Symbeline's avatar

Well that site from way back when, GoreGallery used to be for the public, so people could get their jollies off looking at car accident victims and shit. But eventually, it was only accessible to students of medicine. Don’t know how it changed hands or whatever went on, but mentioning that to say that I agree with your sentiment.

Jus10's avatar

The best site for the dark side of life (death) will always be crazyshit.com
Even though it’s full of perverts now
I started with rotten when I was fifteen. It’s sick ,but I used my morbid side for good. I’m a nursing student and I want to work in emergency rooms lol. In my school all websites the school didn’t want you to use were blocked (fascists lol), but of course proper usage was taught. The school should not have been allowed to do anything as her profile is HER profile and everyone has the right to their opinion. It’s up to the population to educate themselves and decide on it’s validity, not stomp it out or punish it

Symbeline's avatar

@Jus10 Haha is there anything else besides porn in there? Saw one motorcycle accident, otherwise it’s all this porn.

Jus10's avatar

Oh yeah mostly accidents and war injuries. You just have to actually go to the death section. Like all good sites or groups once they get a decent sized audience everything goes to shit lol. They have some crazy “porn” too though. Almost as cringe-worthy as the carnage

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