Internet Pros and Cons

At PCIS, we use the internet every day as a resource for educating young minds; all schools today do.  Living overseas without access to English libraries and other offline resources makes the internet even more critical for PCIS staff and students. We need the kind of access to information and programs that the internet provides and we value it greatly.

But there are some serious downsides to the use of the internet. As parents and educators we are doing our best to ensure that our children are not exposed to websites with inappropriate messages and images. Some of us install software, some of us review histories, and some rely on teaching their kids good judgement.  But it is not just a matter of what they see on the web, but also with whom they communicate.  The internet is used by so many students tor social networking and they can become victims of identity theft, cyber bullying, and other inappropriate communications.  Please take a look at the links with information about internet protection on the links page.

And while none of these issues may effect our kids, I cannot emphasize enough that what goes on the internet can be viewed by many others regardless of how private we think it is.  Children (and many adults) lack a clear understanding that nothing on the internet is truly private and that clicking delete does not actually make it go away entirely.  I read in the news how people have been condemned for things they thought were being posted privately or things they thought they had erased!  We do not want our kids to have to lose an opportunity in the future for something silly they are posting now.  In my review of college-application advice, I found this advice and think it applies not only to applying to college, but also to many other future activities:

As technology plays an increasingly important role in the application process, there are some issues that you need to be aware of and that could negatively impact you. Almost every college requires a student’s e-mail address and sometimes the parents’ e-mail address. Some students have old addresses from when they were in middle school that are no longer appropriate. Take an objective look at your e-mail address; if it says sexymama@aol.com, ihateschool@aol.com, or something like partyanimal@aol.com, I would strongly suggest that you change your e-mail address to something neutral. Students also don’t realize that colleges can and sometimes do access Facebook and MySpace profiles.

If you would be embarrassed by anything posted on these Web sites, be very careful what you post during the college application process. For that matter, high schools and employers can also look at postings, so be very mindful of what’s on your profile. Photos of drinking binges, risqué photos, rumors about others, and other inappropriate behavior can be the kiss of death for some colleges and honors programs. Also, be vigilant about passwords and giving people you hardly know access to your accounts, as some students hack into other people’s profiles and try to sabotage their college acceptances by posting harmful photos. Do you really have 600 close friends on Facebook? Take a look at your profile and delete anyone you’re not 100 percent sure about. In the beginning of your senior year, take a look at your e-mail address and your online postings. You should change the security access to your account and delete any inappropriate material.

On the positive side, technology has made applying to college somewhat easier and more accessible. The Common Application and the Universal College Application are two of the most popular ways to apply to college. An emerging trend is to develop electronic or e-portfolios, which colleges can review to provide them with even more information about your talents, skills, and abilities. These portfolios can contain creative works, images, links, research papers, and other documents highlighting your various accomplishments. If you’re careful, technology can be very useful during the college admissions process. If you’re not careful, you may inadvertently give negative information to colleges, which can be used to reject your application.  from http://www.education.com/reference/article/college-admission-officer-applications/?page=2

So let's work together to ensure that PCIS kids reap all the benefits of the internet and do not fall prey to its disadvantages.


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