October 19-23rd is Digital Citizenship Week. The ICATS are using this week to launch our Digital Citizenship Reboot for the EVSC by posting resources for raising awareness around 5 Core Values that we believe will help our students become better digital citizens. The resources we feature this week will become part of a larger library of resources available to you throughout the year.

Today’s Core Value: Be Safe

Be SafeIt’s critical that everyone learn to be safe in digital spaces. While we don’t need to live in fear of the online world, it is wise to be thoughtful about how we protect ourselves and our students in the Digital Age. Talking with students about how to best protect their identities and how to avoid sharing too much personal information is something simple we can do to have a positive impact on their lives. In the same way that we might remind them not to give away their locker combination, we can counsel our students to use effective passwords and review their privacy settings.

Resources for Learning about Online Safety

Here are a few resources that teachers can use to develop their understanding of online safety:

NetSmartz Online Safety Page

Kids’ Rules for Internet Safety from SafeKids.com

Social Media at School: Teaching Safety on the Virtual Playground from Edutopia

Privacy and Internet Safety Page from Common Sense Media

How to Keep Kids Safe Online Video from Common Sense Media

Do you have a favorite resource for teaching or learning about online safety? Share it with us!

Click Here To Suggest a Digital Citizenship Resource

Videos to Start the Conversation

A great way to start the conversation about online safety is to share a video and then invite your students to reflect about what they have seen. Here are some videos that you might use based on grade-level:

Grades K-3

Use this video from BrainPop Jr.

BrainPop Junior Internet Safety Video

Grades 4-6

Grades 6-8

Grades 9-12

Grades 6-12

Use this video and Activity from NSTeens

6 Degrees of Information

Other Ideas to Promote Online Safety

Here’s a short list of ways any teacher can help students be safer online:

  1. Remind students how to be safe every time you direct them to go online.
  2. Help students feel comfortable reporting online safety concerns when they encounter them.
  3. Give reading assignments that feature topics related to online safety.
  4. Create problem-solving scenarios related to online safety for students to discuss.
  5. Give students appropriate feedback when you see them or hear about them making choices that could put them at risk online.
  6. Be aware of where your students are going online when they are in your care.
  7. Design your digital lessons so that there is less opportunity for students to find themselves in unsafe areas of the web. You can do this by providing them with links you have already vetted and by creating online tasks that are specific and not open-ended. You can also do this by limiting the time you allow for online tasks. This keeps kids focused on the task in front of them.
  8. Report when students are by-passing the filters and have a conversation with them about why this is unsafe.
  9. When students post online, be sure they are aware of what is okay to share and what is not okay to share.
  10. Model good online safety. Never share your password (or leave it out to be discovered). Never use a proxy site to by-pass the school filters. Never share your students’ personal information online.
  11. Remind students not to talk to strangers online or to agree to meet them in person.
  12. Have students do a Google check of themselves to see if there is information they shouldn’t be sharing, and if there is help them find ways to remove that information.
  13. When discussing safety issues in physical spaces, find opportunities to also include safety in digital spaces.
  14. Reach out to parents and share resources about staying safe online.
  15. Promote Common Sense Media’s #HaveTheTalk hashtag.

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