The Internet is a wonderful resource for kids for researching school reports, communicating with teachers, staying in touch with friends, and entertaining themselves. They can literally hit a few keystrokes and find out about culture in China, the history of Europe, or take a tour of the American White House.
But with that access comes risks, even if you’re careful. For example, in our class project on life cycles, we never allow the students to search “chicks”, rather they must type “baby chickens” to avoid the problems the former carries.
The digital natives we are educating don’t want to hide from these sorts of problems, though. They want to learn to manage them. What we as teachers must do is show them how to avoid the internet’s bad neighborhoods so they can benefit from the good. Here’s my year-by-year teaching run-down:
Kindergarten Lesson Plan
I mix internet safety lessons in with other teaching during my 45-minutes-per-week lesson. I spread it out throughout the year, repeating if necessary, which doesn’t bother kindergartners.
- First time students access the internet, I provide an overview. What is it? Where does it go? What will they see once they’ve clicked a link? How should they safely use a link? How do they NOT click on the ads (and what are ‘ads’)?
- We visit age-appropriate videos that teach online safety
- Surf Swell Island
- Clicky’s Quest–internet safety
- Clicky’s Web World–What to do
- Princess who knew how to UYN–video
- Garfield–internet safety
- Webville Outlaws–internet safety
- My Online Neighborhood–video
- Internet safety video–a day in a digital citizen’s life
- Safe surfing ebook—read or read to you
- Internet Safety Site –Disney
- Have sufficient adult assistance that student activities can be corrected immediately so learning is seamless and students aren’t confused