Our kids and students can be plugged into the world community at the touch of an onscreen icon - at home, at play, and at school. They use internet technology daily text-messaging, on Facebook, blogging, Twittering, watching videos, gaming, and even doing research for school. With this world-wide community at their beck and call come certain risks that we as adults are aware of, but they may not be.
Have you ever stopped to think what happens in an internet minute - or how the digital world has literally taken off? Intel has...take a look this staggering image:
Let me iterate a few choice data points (in case this image is hard to read). In one minute there are:
- 30 hours of video are uploaded onto YouTube and there are 1.3 million video views;
- over 2 million search queries on Google;
- 277,000 logins on Facebook and 6 million Facebook views;
- 320+ new Twitter accounts and 100,000 new tweets;
- 100+ Linkedin accounts;
- $83,000 in sales on Amazon;
- 47,000 App downloads;
- 204 million emails sent;
- 1,300 new Mobile users;
- 6 new Wikipedia articles published;
- 135 Botnet infections;
- 20 new victims of identity theft;
- 639,800GB of global IP data transferred.
The positive and negative aspects of our digital world are still unfolding and the consequences of such an unfolding, amorphous, available world are mind-boggling (at least to me - as I often feel like a 'techno-dinosaur"). There are pros and cons to their surfing explorations and as adults, we must protect our kids and teach them how to surf, much like we teach them about crossing the street.
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR KIDS/STUDENTS SAFE? Here are some suggestions (please add your own in the comments):
- Go online together and share safety tips: Just as you would not go into a stranger's car, don't let them venture alone onto unknown websites. Start surfing together and find agreed-upon 'safe' vehicles. For kids in grades 2-8, I would start at FBI-SOS scavenger hunt (see below for more details). At this site you may want to play a few games together with younger kids, older kids can and should navigate this sight on their own.
- Before allowing kids to surf on their own, discuss together what makes a site 'safe'. Compare and contrast the 'safety' of various sites and teach recognition skills - modeling how to recognize the safe, reliable sites. Decide together what may make it safe or unsafe.
- Teach them NOT to provide private information - addresses (not even just the town), phone numbers, family information, age
- Talk about multiple 'identities' surfers might create and how to be careful about 'friending'
- Talk about language used and what types of sites/language to stay away from or to NEVER us.
- Here is an internet safety video for kids in grades K-3
- "NetSmartz Workshop"partnered with The Boys and Girls Clubs of America has webvideos on internet safety information for young kids ("Cliky's Web World"), for older kids ("Net Smartz Rules") and for teens ("I-360")
Here is a link that introduces these three programs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE32bFMTDwY
- The FBI teaches internet safety through their FBI-SOS scavenger hunt at - it consists of games for kids in grades 3, 4,5,6,7, and 8. Each grade has its own scavenger hunt with appropriate sites they direct kids to - each with games, information, songs/raps. At the end of the "hunt" is a quiz. I highly recommend this site for teachers, parents, and kids.
- Here is another online safety video for pre-teens - Funmood's Online Safety Kit - Little Red Riding Mood
- You may want to consider downloading monitoring tools which allow you to seamlessly monitor their travels. Here are a few suggestions:
- CreepSquash- allows parents to monitor their kids' FACEBOOK activity.
- MinorMonitor - also monitors FACEBOOK activity while not invading their Facebook page.
- For tips for online safety and online monitoring http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2011/12/online-safety-tips-and-tools-to-protect.html
- Yahoo! Safely- is the official Yahoo security tips website with sections designed specifically for parents and kids, teaching them internet safety.
- Staying Safe on YouTube - this is more about posting than viewing but is worth watching with your kid/teen:
- Google's Family Safety Center contains Internet security tips, videos and articles relating tools offered by Google as well as providing parents tips/videos and information on how to report abuse or inappropriate content on its services.
- The FBI teaches internet safety through their FBI-SOS scavenger hunt at - it consists of games for kids in grades 3, 4,5,6,7, and 8. Each grade has its own scavenger hunt and each hunt ends with a safety 'quiz'.
- Get Cybersmart with Phineas and Ferb from Common Sense Media
- PBS has their "Official Get Your Web License" site with a "Rules of the Road" test that is lots of fun
- Carnegie Mellon University has a number of sites on websafety ("Fun Stuff" home page) includes links to:
- teaching kids about different kinds 'malware" that dance around Cyberspace (worms, adware, sypware, viruses, and trojan horses) ready to attack computers
- teaching kids about cyber-bullying and online safety through "Stuart and Scott Cyber Safety Bots" online quiz. When you answer incorrectly it explains why that was not correct. My only problem with this is that the site doesn't allow you to go back and 'find' the correct answer.
- Garfield teaches life skills and Online safety (via Learninglab.org)
- tips for online safety and online monitoring http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2011/12/online-safety-tips-and-tools-to-protect.html
- Stand up to Cyberbullying video ( for middle-school kids)
- Brain Pop Jr. Internet Safety with Annie and Moby (for middle school kids) - this teaches kids what to do if a stranger sends them a message and how they can be safe on the internet relating what to share and how to keep the computer safe.
- http://www.kidsmart.org.uk/beingsmart/ has information, games, galleries and chat vehicles related to internet safety
- CyberSense and Nonsense: The Second Adventure of the Three CyberPigs... this is cute but you have to keep clicking after every sentence or two and I am not sure how it will hold your kids' attention. Still it is worth a visit.
- Media and technology resources for educators from Commonsensemedia.org
- BrainPop provides content area teaching tools for teachers as well as providing student games and resources for internet safety
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYaWNYXpBis Online exploitation places - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfsVT5WpPSc Online exploitation acyronms - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ii031A7DuI Online exploitation exchange - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tcw8n8CuSK8 Cyberbullying talentshow - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seOQyMvG99w Think before you post 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwBz-hxjSLU Think before you post 2 -
Resources you can download:
- Essential Elements of ITC Literacy (PDF)
- Guidelines and Resources for Internet Safety in Schools (PDF)
- Related Resources for Internet Safety in Schools (PDF)
- Recent Studies, Surveys and Reports Regarding Internet Safety (PDF)
- Acceptable Use Policies: A Handbook
- Glossary of Related Terms (PDF)
- Division implementation Rubrics for Acceptable Use Policy and Internet Safety Program (PDF)
- Ideas for Integrating Internet Safety into the Classroom (PDF)
- The Correlation of Career and Technical Education Courses to Cyber Safety Issues (PDF)
- Cyberbullying and School Policy (PDF)
- Sexting: Implications for Schools (PDF)
I have given you a lot of options above. IF I were to recommend a place to begin, it would be at FBI-SOS scavenger hunt . Each grade level gives kids a lot of different options and I would recommend looking at the various grade levels to determine which is most appropriate for your kids/students.
This, clearly, is just the tip of the iceberg and as time and technology progress so will the list. Please feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments and SURF SAFELY!
Thanks for your visit. I hope to see you again soon.