According to Robyler & Doering (2013), “Web-based projects are so rich in resources and learning possibilities that they can usually be used with more than one of the following integration strategies: support for student research, practice for information literacy skills, visual learning problems and solutions, development of collaboration skills, and multicultural experiences,” (pg. 258). However, it is important to note that any time a student spends online is an opportunity for them to come in contact with inappropriate material. Teachers and parents must be cognizant of this when they are requesting that students use the Internet for research or other online activities (Roblyer & Doering, 2013, p. 259).
TeachersFirst’s Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship Resources states, “Modeling and helping students learn about Internet safety is the responsibility of every adult in our students’ lives, including teachers in all subject areas and parents at home.” In the Edutopia article, How to Teach Internet Safety to Younger Elementary Students, teachers and parents are reminded to add internet safety discussions to very young children much like we would a “stranger danger” talk. “With children spending time online at younger and younger ages, it is vital that we explicitly teach young children how to protect themselves online.” This article offers three suggestions:
- Realize that young children are unable to transfer or differentiate the difference between strangers in real life to strangers online. It must be taught and revisited often.
- Young children are unaware of how online strangers can be as dangerous as real-life strangers. Not all strangers are dangerous, but we have to be careful what information we give people we do not know in real-life.
- In real-life, you can run away in potentially dangerous situations. In an online environment, the danger is inside the child’s home and they need skills in how to handle those situations.
Common Sense Media (CSM) is an excellent resource for parents and teachers in educating students about privacy and Internet safety. CSM recommends setting expectations and ground rules before children use the Internet. These guidelines should be revisited frequently.
Internet safety goes way beyond protecting kids from strangers or blocking inappropriate content. It’s about helping your kids use the Internet productively and practice safe, responsible online behavior — especially when you’re not there to answer their questions or check in on where they’ve ventured (Common Sense Media, n.d.).
While most school settings have Acceptable Use Agreements, it can be especially helpful to post a simple list of rules wherever computers are located (this is especially helpful at home). Common Sense Media (n.d.) lists a few basic guidelines to consider for rule implementation:
- Follow your [family] or [school] rules about when and where to use the Internet.
- Be polite, kind, and respectful.
- Understand a website’s rules, and know how to flag other users for misbehavior.
- Recognize “red flags,” including someone asking you personal questions such as your name and address.
- Never share your name, your school’s name, your age, your phone number, or your email or home address with strangers.
- Never send pictures to strangers.
- Keep passwords private (except from parents).
- Never open a message from a stranger; it may contain a virus that can harm a computer.
- Immediately tell an adult if something mean or creepy happens.
Internet safety video: A short video on Internet safety.
Safety Land:This site is an interactive city that teaches Internet safety. Students are charged with helping the hero find the “bad” character through a series of questions hidden throughout the city.
NS Teens: Videos by teens for teens about cyberbullying, how to talk to parents or other officials, respect, passwords, privacy settings, and photo/comment posting etiquette.
Carnegie Cyber Academy: Cadets are trained in online safety to protect them cyber villains.
iLearn Technology: This site includes links to 16 of the most popular Internet safety sites for kids.
National Center for Missing and Exploiting Children: This site offers an educator-training program, teaching materials, presentations, and printable promotional items (handouts, etc). The website is divided into various categories for age-appropriate activities. Each category includes a wealth of information including games and quizzes for kids on Internet Safety.
- Parents and guardians
- Law enforcement
Common Sense Media: An overall guide to all digital media and safety.
Internet Integration Lesson
This lesson can be accessed via Animals on the Internet website created by Jen Crook.
Learner Description: This animal report scavenger hunt was created for 3-4 grade students in preparation for writing their own animal reports.
- Students will follow links on the Internet to find animals from around the world via five zoos nationwide.
- Students will organize information on a chart to compare animals.
- Students will choose one animal for his/her animal report based on this scavenger hunt research.
Animals on the Internet Scavenger Hunt
This lesson can be accessed via Animals on the Internet website created by Jen Crook.
To get ready for upcoming animal reports, students will explore zoo websites to find an animal to write about. Students will travel to five zoos nationwide to collect information on a new and exotic animal. Students will peruse the zoo websites and discover a new animal they previously knew nothing about. What will be the strangest animal they will find? Has anyone else in his/her class ever heard of this animal? The student’s mission is to follow the links in the scavenger hunt and find a unique animal for the own animal report.
- Look over the worksheet provided by your teacher (Worksheet can be downloaded from the materials section of “Animals on the Internet” website)
- Follow the Internet links to each zoo.
- Look around the zoo website and find an interesting animal you might want to write your animal report on.
- Fill out the information found on the worksheet about that animal before you move to the next zoo link.
- Try to find animals from different parts of the world.
- Highlight or circle the animal you want to write your report on.
- Turn this worksheet in to your teacher.
READY – SET- GO!!!!
Find information for one animal at each zoo website and fill out the following information on the printed worksheet.
- Where in the world is this animal found?
- What is the life span of this animal?
- What does this animal eat?
- One interesting fact about this animal
Common Core Standards
Research to Build and Present Knowledge:
Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
Range of Writing:
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
- Internet enabled device
- Downloaded and printed worksheet
At the conclusion of this activity, students will turn in their finished worksheets. On their worksheet, students will highlight or circle the animal they have chosen to write their research report on.
BrainPOP Jr. | Internet Safety. (n.d.). Retrieved March 2, 2015, from https://jr.brainpop.com/artsandtechnology/technology/internetsafety/
Creative Commons: #ISRU11 – Internet safety is the responsibility of EVERYONE by OllieBray is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Crook, J. (2015, March 2). Animal Report Scavenger Hunt. Retrieved March 3, 2015, from http://edtech2.boisestate.edu/jencrook/541/animalsontheinternet.html
Hertz, M. (2012, June 4). How to Teach Internet Safety to Younger Elementary Students. Retrieved March 2, 2015, from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/internet-safety-younger-elementary-mary-beth-hertz
How do I keep my kid safe on the Internet? (n.d.). Retrieved March 2, 2015, from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/privacy-and-internet-safety/how-do-i-keep-my-kid-safe-on-the-internet
Roblyer, M.D., & Doering, A.H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching. (6th ed.). [Kindle version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com.
Teachers First – Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers. (n.d.). Retrieved March 2, 2015, from http://www.teachersfirst.com/spectopics/safety.cfm