Thursday, February 16, 2006

Internet Safety for Kids

This was a question posted to a national technology listserv and my response to that listserv.

>Can anyone assist me in finding resources and/or presentors
>that deals with internet safety for kids?

Most of the schools in North Dakota use i-SAFE and we are very pleased with it. Our state has regional technology support staff through an organization called EduTech. They are trained in the i-SAFE curriculum and do staff development in schools across the state on request. (They do staff development on a lot of other technology topics also.)

On our January staff inservice day Alicia Eslinger, one of their regional technologists, did a 1 hour presentation to our entire staff on i-SAFE and it was very well received.

BTW – iSAFE is totally free, funded by federal grants and other contributions.

It isn’t just that we need to be concerned about, it is any web site that students tend to use. The predators, scam artists, etc. will follow. We need to teach students safe, appropriate use of the Internet rather than just block them from these sites.

We block and to keep kids from reading and posting during the school day, but you can’t stop them from posting when they are at home, and you can’t enforce school discipline on them for what they post at home.

You need to make the parents aware, as they often know far less about the Internet than their children and have know idea what they are putting online. But again, this has to be more general than just about and and …

If you do have instances of bullying, threats, rumors, etc. you can still bring the students in and talk to them, counsel them, call the parents, or get the local law enforcement involved.

Like any program, just like any textbook, I feel that you need to pick and choose. There are other very good resources out there that supplement/complement iSAFE.

Wired Safety

Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

Playing it Safe
A webquest about Internet Safety for 6th Grade Computer Literacy

NetSmartz Workshop


FBI Publications – A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety

The Police Notebook – Kid Safety on the Internet

KidsCom – Tips for Internet Safety and good manners!

I keep links to many internet safety sites on my furl list – filter by topic on “Internet Safety”

And I made many of the resources from the NBC To Catch a Predator III site available to our staff under “Technology Department Documents” using our School Center web server. (Please don’t rag on me about copyright issues – I shouldn’t be sharing this site with you, it was just meant for our district teaching staff)

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