Be Internet Awesome: Tools to teach online safety

Be Internet Awesome: internet safety game


What it is: Be Internet Awesome is a fantastic new way to help your students make the most of the Internet by being prepared to make wise decisions as they navigate and interact online. Be Internet Awesome helps teach students the basics of digital citizenship and safety online. This outstanding collection from Google includes: Interland, an online adventure that puts digital safety lessons into hands-on practice with four games; the Be Internet Awesome Curriculum, that will help you teach online safety; the Be Internet Awesome Pledge, to help connect parents and encourage continuity between home and school.

How to integrate Be Internet Awesome into the classroom: With Be Internet Awesome, Google gives you a complete set of tools to empower you to encourage digital citizenship and safety online. There are lessons and curriculum you can download, games for students to play, and a pledge for students to take home so that parents are on the same page.

At the core of Be Internet Awesome is the Code:

  • Share with Care- teaching students the importance of communicating responsibly.
  • Don’t Fall for Fake- teaching students how to discern real from fake online.
  • Secure Your Secrets- teaching students how to protect and safeguard personal information online.
  • It’s Cool to Be Kind- teaching students how the Internet can act as an amplifier, and they have the power to create positive impact for others.
  • When in Doubt, Talk It Out- teaching students how to seek out a trusted adult when they come across something questionable.

Interland is such a beautifully designed game with important lessons about how to mindfully use the Internet. I love the way the lessons learned in the games can transfer seamlessly to real-life as well. Students can play individually in a one to one setting or as a class with a projector-connected computer. Stop to reflect as you play. If students are playing individually, you might have them reflect in writing and come back together to share reflections as a class.

Tips: The Be Internet Awesome Curriculum meets ISTE standards for students and ISTE standards for teachers. Under the Resource link, you’ll also find a lesson poster, certificates and badges, a Google for Education Teacher Training Course, the ability to share Interland directly to Google Classroom, great resources for parents, and an Internaut Papercraft Activity.

Friday Recap: Look where you want to go and steer in that direction- how a blog started a school #missingISTE11

Happy Friday!!  To all of you who are making your way to Philly for ISTE11, I wish you safe travel, fun and learning.  I wish I was there with you! Someone will have to Flat Stanley me so I can pretend I am there with you all. For those who are missing ISTE with me, we have started a Twitter support group 🙂  Use the hashtag #missingISTE11 to find other peeps who can’t be there this year.

The reason I am missing ISTE: Look where you want to go and steer in that direction- how a blog started a school.


Happy weekend!

Save the Date: Reform Symposium Conference #RSCon3

I’m pouting a little bit today.  You see, this is the time of year when Twitter springs to life with plans for the ISTE conference.  I won’t be there this year because I’m a little busy what with starting a school and all.  I’ll be stalking those of you who are going to be at ISTE and living vicariously through you.  I am bummed to be missing out on the ISTE fun but I am looking forward to connecting and learning with everyone at the Reform Symposium virtual conference.


If you aren’t familiar with the Reform Symposium, it is time you get familiar with it.  Honestly, what could be better than 3 days of professional development with all of your edu best buddies from around the world in your jammies?  That’s right, not much.  RSCon3 will be held from Friday July 29th to Sunday July 31st.  We are on our way to being the biggest global online conference in education.  With more than 65 presenters and 12 keynotes and thousands of conversations, it is sure to be a fantastic weekend!  This conference is organized by educators (yours truly included) for educators.  Best of all, the conference is completely and totally FREE!!  You really can’t beat that! So, go ahead and pull up that calendar right now and save the date so you don’t forget.  Want to tell another educator how much you appreciate them?  Go ahead and invite them to the conference as well.  They will be thrilled that they have such a kind and thoughtful friend that thought to include them. 🙂

If  you are an administrator, please send the Reform Symposium flyer to your staff.  Did I mention this is FREE professional development?!

If you happen to think of it in the next month, take a minute to check out the organizer page and THANK those people profusely; pulling off a conference like this takes a lot of organization and planning.  I am honored to be working with such inspiring people!

ISTE 10 Recap: From Add-on Technology to Essential Technology: Constructing a 1-to-1 Aware Curriculum

One of the sessions I attended at the ISTE 10 conference was Elliott Soloway and Cathie Norris’s entitled: “From Add-on Technology to Essential Technology: Constructing 1-to-1 Aware Curriculum”.  It is hard to go wrong with a session by Elliott Soloway, his humor is contagious.

I was interested in this session because I am currently working on a proposal for a 1-to-1 iPad pilot program and study for next year.  I came away with some new perspectives on mobile technologies that I will share at the end of the post.  To begin, here is the gist of the session:

  • “Within 5 years every child in every grade will be learning with mobile technology, it will be bigger than the Internet”- Elliott Soloway
  • There are 7 billion people on the planet and 4 billion mobile devices.
  • The greatest challenge we face as educators is to teach ALL kids.  We need to teach kids “brain jobs” not “back jobs”.  This is 21st Century skills and content.
  • “Right now looking at all the school data is just like moving deck chairs around on the Titanic.” – Elliott Soloway
  • Mobile technology is the game changer.
  • In Singapore, Nan Chi Primary school saw a significant increase in tests scores after introducing smart phones in the 3rd grade science classroom.
  • In a classroom using 1 to 1 mobile devices, not a single child failed to turn in a single homework assignment all year.  Why did that happen? Because they are engaged.
  • Time on task = success
  • The tools have to be used as essential tools, not supplementary.  Supplementing with technology doesn’t move the needle.  Essential means that technology is in hand 24/7 students have complete access to the tool.  Essential means that students are actively engaged in doing and creating.  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other tools being used.
  • Most things can be done on a mobile phone device.
  • Mobile devices connect students to the real world.  Learning doesn’t end when school does.
  • When you look closely at the studies that show that technology has no impact, you will see that it is because technology was used as a supplement.
  • Technology should be like oxygen, invisible but essential.
  • Mobile devices like the cell phone are ideal because the cost of the device is $0 and what you pay for is the connectivity.  It is a cheap solution.
  • It is about the kids, not the technology.  Let them use their own tools.
  • Mobile devices are growing at a rate of 50% a year, this is the fastest growing technology.  We used to tell teachers to get on the technology bus, now we have to say get on the technology bullet train because it is moving!
  • Elliott mentioned that he doesn’t think that the iPad has a place as a learning device.  His reasoning is that it isn’t what kids are using.  He argues that kids are using cellphones and mobile devices, that the iPad isn’t natural for them.

Elliott was an excellent presenter.  He made some great points about using cellphone technology in the classroom.  I have to disagree with his assessment that the iPad isn’t a good device for kids.  While I like the idea of using cellphone technology and just paying for connectivity, it isn’t what every classroom needs.  The conclusion that I kept coming to is that no classroom situation is the same.  While an inner city school with low access to technology and resources might benefit best from a smart phone for learning, it might not make the same sense in a suburban school with more ubiquitous technology access.  In a poorer neighborhood you will find homes that lack wireless Internet access, putting an iPad in the hands of those kids might not be as successful as giving them a cellphone that they could use to access a cellular data network.  But in a wealthier, suburban neighborhood where wireless Internet is around every corner, an iPad is the perfect device.  What I realized is that there can be no one-size-fits-all approach to education.  One solution isn’t going to solve the education problems of the world.  We need to look at each population and each classroom and choose the solution that makes the most sense for that instance.  Education has to be tailored to the individuals, not the masses.

Soloway is right, we keep trying to make the data tell us a new story.  Policy makers implement new standards and tests as a way to save education.  But that is like moving deck chairs around on the Titanic.  Sure things look different, but it is still a sinking ship.  We need to cut our losses and build a new ship all together.  That new ship should be tailored to fit the needs of the students who are boarding it.  For some that means mobile phone technology, for others iPads, and for some netbooks.  I can argue all day long for the benefits of the iPad in learning but when we get right down to it, the reason I hold that view is because it is perfect for the student population I work with.  It makes sense in our situation.  That may or may not be true of you.

To learn more about the session visit here.

Ten Ways to Boost Learning with Technology


@ktenkely (left) @amandacdykes (right)

This week I am at the #ISTE10 conference in Denver!  The conference goes from June 27 to June 30.  ISTE stands for the International Society of Technology in Education, the goal of the conference is to share proven ways that technology can improve and enhance education and learning.  People from all over the world have come to Denver to learn together.  It is truly an amazing sight to have so many passionate educators in one place!

Today I got the chance to meet my PLN in person, what a wonderfully bizarre experience.  We interact on Twitter all day every day and it feels like we are already old friends.  But we had no idea what the other really looked like, what facial expressions they make, what their voice sounded like.  To start putting all of that together was pretty cool.  I got the chance to spend the day with @kylepace, @amandacdykes, @thenerdyteacher, @MrsBMG, @buzzgarwood, and briefly met many other of my awesome PLN.  All I can say is that I wish you all lived closer by so we could hang more often.  We had a blast!

This week things are going to be a little different on iLearn Technology.  My posts will be focused on what I am learning at #ISTE10 that I want to share with all of you.  For those of you new to iLearn Technology, my posts are generally dedicated to quick easy ways to integrate technology into the classroom.  Those posts will resume on Thursday.  Until then, join me on my ISTE journey here and on Twitter. You can follow me @ktenkely or follow the #ISTE10 hash tag.