This topic has been on my mind a lot lately. I am the Technology Coach at my school and part of my responsibilities this year is to implement lessons for digital citizenship. I feel that our school does a good job of keeping our kids safe but with the increasing access to technology in my school, it is time to look at what we do and how we teach it.
Internet safety is not just about searching safely. Students need to be taught about cyberbullying, identify theft, internet safety, cybercrime, digital footprint and other related topics. All of these make up being a responxible digital citizen.
One of the best resources I have found on internet safety and digital citizenship is the website Common Sense Media. There are several resources available for educators. The Scope and Sequence section is the easiest place to find the different categories available. What I like is that it is divided up by topic and grade level. This is a K-12 resource. The lessons are complete with objectives, materials, teaching plan and aligned with Common Core and NETs standards. The lessons use a combination of media from print to videos.
The K-2 lesson called, “Going Places Safely” is a great introduction to the internet and gives the students three rules to follow: 1) Always ask your parent (or teacher) first
2) Only talk to people you know 3) Stick to places that are just right for you
These rules are simple and easy to remember. What I love about this lesson is that it makes a connection to the real world how to be safe in the real world is just as important as being safe in a online world.
In the lesson “Talking Safely Online” (3-5) students are introduced to the dangers of online-only friends. One of the most important tips they gave is to not give out private information. A checklist of responsible choices is provided to students to go through to evaluate risks.
There are several great lessons on this site. I choose the two above because they are good introductory lessons and I agree with the rules given and would combine them for all K-5 students.
- Always ask your parent (or teacher) first
- Only talk to people you know
- Stick to places that are just right for you
- Don’t give out private information (name, address, phone number, passwords, etc)
Other resources to use with internet safety for teachers: