What it is: iKeep Safe is a website and program I have used every year since I started teaching technology. As I was writing up lesson plans for the upcoming week, I realized that I haven’t ever posted about this outstanding resource. iKeep Safe is a kid friendly Internet safety program. It features a cat named Faux Paw who has adventures on the Internet. There are videos, downloadable and printable books, and games for kids. All are centered on teaching kids to be safe online. There are free guided discussion sheets for you to go through with your students, quizzes, coloring pages, etc. This program is the perfect way to introduce Internet safety in your elementary classroom without worrying that the content is too mature for your audience. The online books and videos teach kids Internet safety basics, how to handle cyber bullying, balancing real life with screen time, and the risks and dangers of downloading. Students learn about these concepts with fun cartoon characters and engaging stories.
How to integrate iKeep Safe into the classroom: iKeep Safe is a great place to start Internet safety. I would recommend making Internet safety a top priority the first month of school before kids are online for class. In my classroom, students are introduced to Faux Paw at the beginning of the school year. We watch and discuss the Faux Paw cartoon, read and discuss the books, and finish by taking the free downloadable quiz. Students must pass this quiz with an eighty percent or better in order to get their “Internet Drivers Licenses”. I talk a lot about how using the Internet is a privilege, not a right. This is just like driving a car. So in order to be online for other subjects, students have to demonstrate that they know the rules of the Internet by passing the quiz. They can lose their Internet drivers licenses at any time by mis-using the Internet or not following the rules. I also have the kids create a rules poster for them to hang next to their home computers. Students also get an assignment to go home and tell their parents the Internet rules. This has to be signed off on in order to use the Internet. I find that we can do a pretty good job of keeping kids safe at school, but at home parents aren’t doing enough to make sure that their kids are safe. Whether or not you are the computer teacher, make sure that your kids know how to keep themselves safe online. Be an adult they trust who they can come to with any cyberbullying problems, if they see inappropriate content, or if someone is trying to contact them inappropriately.
Tips: Never been trained in Internet safety? Be sure to visit the educator page of iKeepSafe, the training materials are wonderful!
Please leave a comment and share how you are using iKeep Safe in your classroom.