50+ Resources for Teaching Kids to Properly and Safely Use the Internet
posted by: Guest Blogger
Children 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
What to do
Every year I ask 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 child 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 kids 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 children to do the right thing by letting them know that they are doing their part to keep a wider community safe. If your kids 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 child This will keep them from ever telling you about it again. Do not punish kids for dong the right thing! Follow up as necessary to help the child properly navigate what they were exposed to.
Elementary: NS Kids: Bad Netiquette Stinks!
Jr. High: NS Teens: Mike-Tosis
Online Identity/Digital footprint
Children often separate who they are online with who they are in “real” life. This is a mistake! It is important for kids 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! Children 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
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
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
Children tend to believe that everything they read or see online is true. Obviously this is SO not the case! Help your kids learn how to have discernment as they are surfing the net.
Elementary: Google: Detecting Lies
Jr. High: Google: Detecting Lies
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!