At Anastasis Academy we are a 1:1 BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) school with EVERY student using technology throughout the day every day. Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship are important topics for us because it is so integral to what our kids do while they are at school. Whether or not you have a 1:1 program, these are topics that shouldn’t be overlooked! Don’t assume that because your students are fairly savvy when it comes to learning technology, that they will automatically pick up on digital literacy. Digital Literacy isn’t a topic that should be relegated to school either, it is essential that parents learn about digital literacy so that they can echo and enforce good technology use at home. This week we will have a week of intensive digital literacy training for our students. Being a BYOD school means that these topics come up as we go through the year often, it is nice for us to have an intensive week to refer students back to throughout the school year. So much of digital literacy echoes good safety practices in “real” life. As such, we spend time discussing online and offline safety practices during this week and have our local school deputy join us. When I was a technology teacher, I would end this week with an Internet Driver’s License, students had to pass a safety quiz in order to get their license. This was their ticket to being able to be online in my class. Students could lose their license for inappropriate online behavior. This was always popular for kindergarten through fifth grade students! Below are our favorite resources to use. We choose a different digital literacy topic for each day of the week, follow along or mix it up to meet your own needs!
Monday- Online Identity
Students tend to assume that if something is online, it must be true. This is especially true of people they “meet” online. Students believe that anyone on a social network, blog comments, forum, etc. are who they say they are. It is important to help students understand that not everything and everyone online is what they seem.
Jr. High: NS Teens Friend or Fake– a video that helps students realize that not everyone they meet online is trustworthy
Tuesday: What to do
Every year I would ask my students how many of them had seen something they knew they shouldn’t have online. 100% of kids from kindergarten through eighth grade would raise their hands. When I followed up with: how many of you told an adult about it? Only about 2% in the same age group raise their hand!! When you ask students why they don’t report to an adult they list the following reasons: I didn’t want to get in trouble; Mom/Dad/Teacher would take the technology away from me if they knew, it was just an accident so I don’t tell; I was embarrassed. This is a big deal! Kids need to know that there is a trusted adult in their life who can help them navigate their online interactions without blaming them for accidental exposure. After sharing these videos, we discuss appropriate responses to inappropriate material. I ask kids to turn off the screen without shutting the device down. This keeps other students or siblings from seeing the inappropriate content before it can be reported. If a student sees anything online that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, confused or something they know is inappropriate they should report it to a trusted adult right away. I always let students know that they will never be in trouble for reporting this to us. It is a big help for us because then we know which sites to block so that other kids don’t run across the same material. Empower your students to do the right thing by letting them know that they are doing their part to keep a wider community safe. If students do come to you with inappropriate content, take a deep breath, thank them for their help and report the URL to your tech department to be black listed. No matter how shocking the content is, do NOT get upset with the student! This will keep them from ever telling you about it again. Do not punish students for dong the right thing! Follow up as necessary to help the student properly navigate what they were exposed to.
Elementary: NS Kids: Bad Netiquette Stinks!
Jr. High: NS Teens: Mike-Tosis
Wednesday: Online Identity/Digital footprint
Students often separate who they are online with who they are in “real” life. This is a mistake! It is important for students to understand that who they are online and who they are in person is one and the same. Decisions made online can impact their real life in big ways! Students also need to know what information is okay to share online, and what information is private and should not be shared online.
Elementary: NS Kids: Be safer online
Jr. High: NS Teens: Profile Penalty
Thursday: Cyber Bullying
Cyber Bullying is becoming a big issue for kids all over the world. Kids say things to each other online (or about each other) that they wouldn’t dream of saying to someone in person. It is important that kids know what cyber bullying is and what to do if they encounter a cyber bully. Kids need to know that it is always inappropriate to cyber bully in all of its forms.
Jr. High: NS Teens: Terrible tEXt
NS Teens: Cyberbully Zombies Attack
Friday: Online Privacy
Here’s the thing about making online content private: it’s never really totally private. Kids forget that even if they only share with people they know, the people they know may not necessarily keep online content private. I always use the example of my mom who keeps many of her pictures “private” online. However, I have access to those photos and nothing stops me from downloading them or taking a screen shot and sharing them with the world. It is important for kids to know if something is digital, that it can be shared.
Elementary: NS Kids: Passwords
Jr. High: NS Teen: Post to be Private
Every Day Learning: Online Discernment
Students tend to believe that everything they read or see online is true. Obviously this is SO not the case! Help your students learn how to have discernment as they are surfing the net.
Elementary: Google: Detecting Lies
Jr. High: Google: Detecting Lies
Teacher resources/lesson plans:
Net Smartz: Includes an online safety education kit, teaching materials, presentations
Web Wise Kids: teacher resources, safety night, safety kits
iKeep Safe: Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum
Media Smarts: lessons, resources, professional development
Carnegie Cyber Academy: lessons, game guides, printouts/activities
ThinkUKnow– videos, lessons, resources
Child Net- presentations, resources, lessons, videos
CyberSmart- resources, professional development
Tree Octopus- Help Kids see that not everything that is online is true. The Octopus Tree Frog site will put their critical thinking skills to the test!
Remember, as you go through these topics and resources for kids, it is crucial that you tie in the equivalent off-line behavior. Think stranger danger, reporting inappropriate behavior, bullying, and critical thinking. At the end of the week, challenge kids to create their own PSA video about the digital literacy and safety tips they learned this week!