10 ways schools are teaching internet safety

2. Through analogies and student-generated projects

“I am an Elementary Instructional Technology Specialist for South Jefferson Central School in New York State. I prepare, facilitate, and present an internet safety lesson yearly for all of our kindergarten through 6th grade students. I like to use analogies in my lessons, giving students a hook to … remember. This year, I used the analogy of Little Red Riding Hood—[that] things aren’t always as they seem, there are people who try to pretend they are something they are not, etc. I also create SMART Notebook lessons to engage our digital natives so that they are active participants in their own learning experience. … In grades K-2, emphasis is on computer parts, computer care rules, always telling an adult when there is a problem (I use the book Arthur’s Computer Disaster as an example), [not giving out] personal information, … being nice on the internet, and what to do if someone isn’t being nice. In grades 3-6, emphasis is on rules, cyber bullying, personal and private information, think before you post, … predators, password protection, etc. A safety pledge is signed and filed for grade 3-5 students, and an AUP is completed for [sixth graders].

“Every year, we complete a project after the internet safety lesson to ‘bring home’ the lesson material. I believe this project allows students to take ownership of internet safety and allows what they have learned to be shared by others. [One such project was an] internet safety calendar: Each student’s assignment was to create a drawing of an internet safety rule, … then they divided into groups of two to create a calendar page … using Microsoft Publisher. The calendars are printed and distributed to students at school. The file is put on our school website for parents to print at home. [In another project,] using Visual Communicator and a green screen, students have created their own script, their own backgrounds, and completed short [public service announcements] on internet safety, cyber bullying, think before you post, etc. These movie files are posted online on our school webpage for the community. After the lesson with the fifth grade students, I bring those students to the elementary classrooms and they help facilitate the lesson for another classroom. Here is the link to all of my resources and student files: http://www.spartanpride.org/webpages/tgroff/.” —Tina Groff, South Jefferson Central School

Meris Stansbury

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