Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Joyce Kilmer School Students Learn About CyberSafety

Elaine McCabe, technology teacher at the Joyce Kilmer School, sent in pictures of some of the cybersafety activities her students are working on. She started her cybersafety unit for grades 1 to 3 with a short survey. From this survey she learned that 19 out of her 20 first grade students use the internet at home without any adult supervision. She said, “I then thought it would be a good idea to start grades 1 to 3 with safety on the internet.” Elaine used iSAFE activities for some of her lessons. The first grade students learned about traveling safely through cyberspace and listened to some cybersafety songs created by iSAFE. The second grade students created products in Kidspiration software after viewing an iSAFE webcast. They learned about not sharing personal information online, not talking with strangers online, and about downloading safety.

The fifth graders focused on cyberbullying and discussed the ramifications of negative things that are said in chat rooms and while instant messaging. Cyberbullying is a problem that continues to gain attention. More and more studies are showing that cyberbullying tends to occur most in the middle school grades, so fifth grade is definitely a good year to educate students about what to do if they are cyberbullied. It is also important to try and teach children about the effects cyberbullying can have on others and the consequences they could face if they are cyberbullying other students.

All in all, the lessons seemed to be successful as Elaine told us, “I think all of the classes understood that the internet can be dangerous and that they need to be careful about what they write.”

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