10 ways schools are teaching internet safety

8. Through a department citizenship program

“The New South Wales Department of Education and Communities has developed a series of online resources for students, teachers, and parents to support the digital citizenship program. The program aims to teach what it means to be a good digital citizen, how to use the internet responsibly, and how to keep yourself and others safe and healthy in an online world. The student activities are based on the domains of digital conduct, digital footprint, digital relationships, digital health and well-being, digital law, and digital financial literacy. The themes of cyber safety and how to deal with cyber bullying run through all activities. Links are included to other Australian sites, such as CyberSmart from the Australian Communications and Media Authority, as well as international sites such as Think you know and Dizigen. The teacher resources include a professional learning course and support for implementing digital citizenship programs in schools. There are also links to videos and student games. The parent resources focus on staying safe online. The current site, designed for secondary students in Years 9 and 10, will be expanded in late November to cater for students from kindergarten to Year 10.” —Leonie Wittman, project leader, Learning Design, New South Wales Curriculum & Learning Innovation Centre

9. As part of a research lesson

“I am the school media specialist, and I teach internet safety through my Media course. It has been bounced around as to grade level (7th, 8th, both) but this year is being offered only to 8th graders. It is a trimester course, and I cover the basics of doing research, including internet safety. I use some of my own content, especially current articles in our newspapers, but I also heavily use the curriculum from Common Sense Media. I see a real need to do a formal curriculum at a younger level, but my time with the elementary students is very limited, as is our technology teacher’s.” —Sharon Gunkel, Nevis Public School

10. Through a school-wide program

“We teach internet safety at Helena Flats School through our Olweus program, and I spend a great deal of time with the students throughout the school year talking about how to keep safe. I have a doctorate from the University of Montana and conducted my study on internet predation.” —Ann Minckler, Ed.D., superintendent, Helena Flats School

Meris Stansbury

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