Internet Safety Labs Advances Mobile App Safety for K-12 Students, Families and Educators with New App Microscope

SAN DIEGO (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  Internet Safety Labs, a non-profit organization dedicated to independent software product safety testing, today announced a big leap forward to help ensure mobile app safety for K-12 students, families and educators with the introduction of the App Microscope.

Funded with support from the  Internet Society Foundation, the new web-based resource is designed to help school technology decision-makers and other interested parties pierce the technology fog and take a good hard look at what is really going on with children’s private and personal data inside the EdTech mobile applications they are using.

The extensive research presented in the ISL’s  2022 K12 Edtech Safety Benchmark Findings Report Part 1 makes it clear the technology recommended and used by U.S. educational institutions poses substantial privacy and safety risks to children and families. The report shows that 96% of educational apps share children’s personal information with third parties — 78% of the time with advertising and data analytics entities – and typically without the knowledge or consent of the users or the schools.…Read More

How every school can promote safety in a digital world

Keeping students safe in the digital era — with its myriad dangers — means a proactive IT strategy

Technology has become a mainstay within the walls of today’s schools. One-to-one computing is enhancing and enriching the student experience, transforming the way we teach and the way we learn.

K-12 schools were expected to spend approximately $4.7 billion on technology this past year, according to IDC, with no sign of a plateau. But as rapid technology adoption continues unabated, the safety of the students who are meant to benefit from these advances is frequently overlooked.

The evolution of learning with computers

When desktop computers first appeared in schools, the curriculum focused on typing, word processing, and basic coding skills. Then search engines arrived, completely revolutionizing the way students accessed and consumed information over the web.…Read More

4 fresh ideas for teaching digital citizenship sooner

Kids are immersed in technology from a very young age. So why do digital citizenship courses focus on middle school and above?

PLCs-communitiesEd. note: Innovation In Action is a new monthly column from the International Society of Technology in Education focused on exemplary practices in education.

digital-citizenship-youthRecently, I was reflecting on how we as parents and teachers account for all of our children when we are in public areas. Be it on a field trip, vacation, or just a trip to the toy store, we count heads to make sure they’re with us and safe. In a digital learning environment, how can educators ensure that students are being safe while they are online?

Throughout my career, I’ve taught the use of technology to elementary students. While at my former school district, I worked with colleagues to create a comprehensive Internet Safety Unit with a specific focus on digital citizenship. In my current job at Lower Moreland Township School District, I still look for opportunities to reinforce digital citizenship skills within my lessons. A key element of this program was to address an ISTE Standard for teachers to “Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility.”…Read More

New online safety curriculum helps schools document CIPA compliance

An animated alien, Sammy Smart, guides students through a new online digital safety program.

As of July 2012, schools receiving federal e-Rate funding must have updated internet safety policies that show how they will educate minors about appropriate online behavior. Now, a new animated online curriculum is available to help schools fulfill this requirement and document their compliance.

The Federal Communications Commission last August amended the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to include the digital safety education provisions of the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act. Under the new rules, federal auditors may ask e-Rate applicants to produce evidence that they have educated their staff and students about internet safety. The e-Rate provides discounts of up to 90 percent of the cost of telecommunications service and internet access to eligible schools and libraries.…Read More

Ed-tech best practices: April 2012

Having students act as detectives is one strategy for teaching about internet safety shared by a reader.

Ten creative ways that schools are teaching students about internet safety … tips for making one-to-one computing a success … a national project that aims to inspire the “model classroom”: These are some of the ed-tech best practices featured in the April 2012 edition of eSchool News.

“I teach about internet safety by having fifth grade students act as detectives,” says Joan Curtis, a teacher librarian at Schwenksville Elementary School in Pennsylvania.…Read More

10 ways schools are teaching internet safety

"The student’s job is to figure out which website is the hoax. After students have looked at all three websites and figured out which one is the hoax, they share what they found with their classmates," says one reader in describing a hands-on lesson.

As internet use has become a daily part of most students’ lives, students must know how to protect themselves and their identity at all times—especially when teachers and parents aren’t there to help them.

Teaching students about internet safety has been important for as long as the internet has existed, but it’s in the spotlight this year in particular as schools get ready to apply for 2012 eRate discounts on their telecommunications services and internet access. That’s because applicants must amend their existing internet safety policies by July 1, 2012, to include information about how they are educating students about proper online behavior, cyber bullying, and social networking sites.…Read More

Rutgers freshmen charged for using hidden camera on a student

In a case of video voyeurism gone high-tech, a pair of Rutgers University freshmen secretly placed a camera in a dorm room earlier this month and broadcast a live feed of a fellow student’s “sexual encounter” on the internet, reports the Star-Ledger. It’s unclear how many people saw the intimate images of the unsuspecting 18-year-old on the Piscataway, N.J., campus online, law-enforcement officials said. But someone eventually tipped off campus police. Dharun Ravi, 18, and Molly Wei, 18, were charged with two counts each of invasion of privacy for using the camera Sept. 19 to view and transmit the live sex scene, said Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan. Ravi is also charged with two additional counts of invasion of privacy for unsuccessfully trying to capture a second scene involving the same student two days later, Kaplan said. Rutgers officials said the students also might face discipline on campus for the alleged invasion of privacy. “The university takes these matters seriously and has policies to deal with student behavior. Under federal law, the university cannot comment on specifics involving student conduct,” said Sandra Lanman, a Rutgers spokeswoman…

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Facebook Places: Marketing tool or educational asset?

UK's Facebook Places ad campaign guides students to an educational web site.
UK's Facebook Places ad campaign guides students to an educational web site.

The University of Kentucky, if all goes according to the campus’s marketing plan, could pop up in 1.3 million Facebook news feeds during the fall semester—and students might just learn something about maintaining online privacy in the process.

The Lexington, Ky., university placed six-foot wooden Facebook Places logos in six campus locations with the heaviest foot traffic to encourage students to “check in” using Facebook’s geo-tagging application, which lets users show friends where they are—the campus library, for instance.…Read More

Q&A: Rumors, cyberbullying, and anonymity

Last week in this space, I shared excerpts from an interview with David Mikkelson, half of the husband-and-wife team behind Snopes.com, the online clearinghouse for internet rumors and urban legends, reports David Pogue of the New York Times. It was part of a “CBS News Sunday Morning” segment about online rumors that won’t ultimately air. So I thought this week, I’d share with you a piece of another interview for that segment. This time, the subject is John Palfrey, Harvard Law School professor, co-director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and author of “Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives.”

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PTA joins with Facebook to promote internet safety

Parents, schools, and students will soon have a new tool for online safety education.
Parents, schools, and students will soon have a new tool for online safety education.

The national Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and Facebook are joining forces to promote internet safety through a set of tools and resources for children, schools, and parents.

The world’s largest online social network and the National PTA will work together to build a program to provide information and support about such issues as cyber bullying, good online citizenship, and internet security.…Read More

Internet safety video could win young filmmakers $10,000

Computer security company Trend Micro has an offer for any teen or adult who cares about internet safety and security and wants to become an award-winning filmmaker, CNET blogger Larry Magid reports. The company has launched a contest called “What’s Your Story?” where the person who submits the best short video (no more than 2 minutes long) can win $10,000. There are also four $500 prizes. The deadline is April 30, and only residents of the U.S. and Canada who are 13 or older are eligible to win. Entries must be about one of these four topics: keeping a good reputation online, staying clear of unwanted contact, accessing legal content that is age-appropriate, or keeping the cyber-criminals out…

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