If you teach kindergarten – or know a kindergarten teacher – we wanted to share a lesson created by Mary Beth Hertz (@mbteach on Twitter), an elementary computer teacher in Philadelphia, PA, and a regular blogger on Edutopia. Mary Beth uses free resources from BrainPop to introduce her young students to Internet safety, with a focus of helping students transfer their face-to-face “stranger danger” skills to online environments. Here’s the link to her How to Teach Internet Safety to Younger Elementary Students post.
Although our district-adopted Internet safety program begins in 1st grade, this is only because many sites do not send their kindergartners to the computer lab. Currently our computer lab teachers are in charge of the Internet safety program at the elementary sites – but this does not mean that teaching digital citizenship is limited to computer lab time. We would love to have kindergarten teachers leading the charge! And we would love to hear back from any sites that are beginning Internet safety and digital citizenship in kindergarten – either in the classroom or computer lab!
2WebWatchers had the pleasure of participating in “When Cyberbullying Spills Into School,“ a webinar hosted by edweek.org and sponsored by Talk About It Anonymous Communication Service. Presenters included two nationally-recognized experts on bullying: Nancy Willard, executive director, Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use and Barbara-Jane Paris, principal, Canyon Vista Middle School in Austin, Texas. Michelle R. Davis, senior writer, Education Week Digital Directions was the moderator for the event.
Much of students’ social lives outside of school these days takes place online, through social networking sites. And even though this form of bullying may happen most often after school hours, the impact from online conflicts and negative comments in cyberspace can directly affect a student’s in-school life, including the ability to learn. – edweek.org
Some of the questions addressed during the webinar included:
The webinar has been archived and you can access it here: http://www.edweek.org/go/webinar/Cyberbullying.
You can also download the PowerPoint presentation in PDF format here: http://www.edweek.org/media/2012-02-23-cyberbullying.pdf
We are already actively incorporating many of the thoughts and ideas shared in the webinar:
Many of the parents we meet during our Internet Safety workshops share with us a common concern: They wish they had a better handle on how to make sure their children are using Facebook in ways they will not sooner or later regret. Parents want a complete guide. Their wish has been granted. Connect Safely has posted a 35-page Parent Guide to Facebook.
The guide features hands-on, step-by-step instructions and illustrations, as well as parenting points on safety, privacy, and reputation protection. It covers both cellphone- and computer-based use of Facebook and the site’s newest features, including Places, Groups, and the latest privacy updates.
But if you do not have time to download and read through the complete guide, authors Anne Collier and Larry Magid are also providing you with an “at a glance interactive chart” with their recommended privacy settings. A very concise, informative resource!
2WebWatchers would like to thank Microsoft for the excellent free resources they have created on key topics of digital citizenship:
Thank you, Microsoft!
One of our readers suggested that we take a look at this NBCAction News YouTube video. We felt that it was important enough to share with our readers.
Social Network stalking on Smartphones
Some people voluntarily tell the world where they are and what they’re doing by ”checking in” on social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. Most social networking websites have made it very convenient for you to post your status and whereabouts by using your smartphone. Gowalla and Foursquare have turned “checking in” into a fun way to earn badges, titles, and other rewards. Not only do these sites keep a log of your check-ins, they also let you automatically send status updates to Facebook and Twitter.
You could be very careful not to give away your location on your Facebook or Twitter pages, but the camera on your smartphone could be supplying people with that information. Many people take photos or video and upload them to social networking websites. A few years ago you needed to be careful that the background in your photos didn’t include any personal information – street address, license plate number, street signs, easily identifiable landmarks, etc. Now most smartphones come equipped with GPS (Global Positioning System) technology, which allows many smartphones the capability of geotagging your photos when you take them. The geotag data is then uploaded along with your photo, revealing when and exactly where it was taken. Photos posted to photo sharing sites like Flickr and Picasa can also be tagged with location, but it is not an automatic function.
In August of 2010, Adam Savage, of the television show “MythBusters,” took a photo of his vehicle using his smartphone. He then posted the photo to his Twitter account including the phrase “Now it’s off to work.” Since the photo was taken by his smartphone, the image contained metadata reveling the exact geographical location the photo was taken. So by simply taking and posting a photo to Twitter, Savage revealed the exact location of his home, the vehicle he drives and the time he leaves for work.
Please pay attention to the camera settings on your smartphones. It’s too easy for your location information to become public. If you are interested in turning off ”location services” on your cell phone, you can usually find the information in your general phone settings. Call your service provider or look online for model specific instructions if you need assistance.
The Elk Grove Unified School District, in collaboration with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, has selected the winners of the Internet Safety Video Contest. The video contest is one component of Elk Grove Unified’s Internet Safety Initiative, which involves a three-pronged approach to educate staff, parents and students about cyberbullying, online predator strategies and other online Internet safety issues. The Elk Grove Unified School District and U.S. Attorney’s Office have partnered on the contest to increase awareness about Internet safety.
The 2011 Internet Safety Video Contest is an innovative example of how Elk Grove Unified has taken the initiative to be a leader in the importance of Internet safety outreach. The initiative includes professional development classes about Internet Safety and Web 2.0 technology, 2Webwatcher’s blog and cyber ethics for staff and Internet safety classes for parents.
Most recently, students in grades 4-12 were invited to produce a PSA video that promotes the safe and ethical use of the Internet. Winners and honorees were selected at the elementary and high school levels. The students were recognized at the EGUSD Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, January 18, 2011. The following students were recognized:
Elitha Donner/Foulks Ranch Elementary School
Back Row (l to r): Michelle Prince, Gail Desler, Kathleen Watt, Charlie Chatten, Jorge Arvizu, Chris Perris, Mary Beth Kropp, Jim Bentley, Al Rowlett – Front Row (l to r): Elizabeth Graswich, Dominick Williams, Andrew Mirazo, Kyle Gilliland, Jordyn Wong, Lawayne Clark, Thao Pham, Alex Catlett
Elk Grove High School
Back Row (l to r): Gail Desler, Kathleen Watt, Michelle Prince, Al Rowlett
Front Row (l to r): Elizabeth Graswich, Cathy Guy, Gina Pompei, Briana McClurg, Jennifer Moore, Jorge Vina, Tyler Steege
The winners for the contest are as follows:
1st Place Elementary School (tie) – Foulks Ranch Elementary School
(Teacher/Supervisor – Jim Bentley)
1st Place Elementary School (tie) – Elitha Donner Elementary School
Texting and Driving Don’t Mix
(Teachers/Supervisors – Chris Perris, Charlie Chatten )
1st Place High School – Elk Grove High School
Behind Closed Doors
(Teacher/Supervisor – Jennifer Moore)
>>>>>>>Click here to view the winning PSA videos<<<<<<<
PBS KIDS GO! recently launched its Digital Citizenship Initiative that features several new resources. Among them, a free interactive, online game called Webonauts Internet Academy. The game is designed to teach kids how to be safe and respectful online. The game gives kids 8 to 10 years of age an opportunity to have some fun while exploring what it means to be a good cyber citizen.
The game’s motto: Observe… Respect… Contribute…
As new recruits to the Webonauts Internet Academy‚ players are sent on training missions on the planet Bambu. While there‚ they encounter a mysterious enemy‚ The Great Static‚ who is set on stealing the Bamdudes’ cookie recipe. During the course of the game‚ players receive on-the-job training and help the Bamdudes save their cookie recipe!
Players answer questions that are centered around the following topics: good citizenship, identity‚ privacy‚ credibility and Internet safety.
The game takes about 20 minutes to play and you have the opportunity to login to save your game – you can easily pick up where you left off.
Parents can learn more about the Webonauts Internet Academy by clicking here. Parents can also find helpful supporting information on PBSPARENTS.org, including tips for kids’ Internet use from Common Sense Media.
The Webonauts Internet Academy can also be a great tool for classrooms. Teachers can click here to access the helpful tips page for educators.
Much has changed over the past decade about the art and skill of communicating, including the definition for literacy. Digital citizenship, therefore, requires that students have access to social networking and collaborative, multimedia writing opportunities and instruction as part of their school day. We believe that blogging is an excellent starting point for transforming teaching and learning in the 21st century.
Why blog with elementary students? Let’s start with New Zealand primary teacher Rachel Boyd’s list:
With 22 reasons already listed, what could we add to the above video? How about some elaboration on the last point, “To give them skills for their digital futures”? Blogs are a great tool for teaching our students how to use the Internet safely, effectively, and ethically. For many of our students, understanding what constitutes personal information or too much information (TMI), for instance, or how to publicly and respectfully disagree with differing viewpoints comes down to how technology is being used in the classroom.
Through blogging, we can also address the research as we cross digital divides and level the playing field:
“Economically disadvantaged students, who often use the computer for remediation and basic skills, learn to do what the computer tells them, while more affluent students, who use it to learn programming and tool applications, learn to tell the computer what to do. Those who cannot claim computers as their own tool for exploring the world never grasp the power of technology…They are controlled by technology as adults–just as drill-and-practice routines controlled them as students.” Toward Digital Equity: Bridging the Divide in Education
Come join us for a blogging workshop. We offer a 2-hour Blogging 101: Blogging for Absolute Beginners and Blogging 102: Going Live with Edublogs. You’ll leave Blogging 102 with your own classroom blog, ready to use the next school day!
As part of the workshop, we’ll provide you with resources to get you started, such as a sample parent letter that you can customize and send home, along with instructions to help your parents to join your blogging conversations.
We’ll also send you on your way with useful tips, such as Five Tips for Helping Students Become Better Bloggers, Five Borrowed Tips for Helping Students Become Better Bloggers, and Five Tips for Teachers New to Edublogs; ideas for classroom projects, links to a network of elementary classroom blogs, such as:
So why blog with elementary students? Let’s listen to what students would like you to think about:
Looking for some more resources on how blogging benefits teachers and students? Take a tour of the National Writing Project’s Digital Is site, starting with Bud Hunt’s piece Teaching Blogs not Blogging.
Please let us know if you have blogging resources to add to our collection!
How do we educate ‘tweens and teens about the ethical use of cell phones? Sexting* has become an issue in communities the world over, largely due to the ubiquitous nature of mobile phones with cameras.
Unfortunately, many students do not understand the consequences of their actions. We hope the video below from the AdCouncil and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children will reinforce the message that what students post in online communities has far reach.
*Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily between cell phones
Elementary computer lab teachers will soon be rolling out the i-SAFE program as an integral part of their curriculum. This comprehensive program provides teachers with resources, lesson plans, and even handouts. We invite all who use the i-SAFE curriculum to add to ideas below on incorporating “green” technologies into the program.