April 23

A First Look At Online Safety

Online Safety for Grade 1

The internet is an amazing place to spend our time, but we need to learn some basic safety rules for when we are online.  Just like how when we learn to drive we learn the rules of the road first, we need to learn online safety rules before we start exploring on the internet.

ABCya! is a great site for educational games, but it also has a great online safety video and quiz we can use to learn the most important rules of internet safety.  It is called Cyber-Five.  Click on the picture and get started with the video, and then take the quiz when you’re done. 

If you have any questions after you’ve watched the video and completed the quiz, be sure and include them in the comments on this page and I will answer them to the best of my ability!

Webinars for Parents

Parents can participate in Trend Micro’s 20 minute online safety webinar series.  They are free and led by some of the world’s foremost experts.

Internet Safety Webinars For Parents

April 21

House Hippos and Cabbits

First we are going to watch a video about the North American House Hippo…

When this video started, for a moment did you believe that this could be real or did you know immediately that it was not?  What were some of the reasons you did or didn’t believe it?  How could we be sure?

Some of the most important skills we need to be a great digital citizen are our critical thinking skills.  A big part of critical thinking is our ability to find out if what we are seeing, reading, or hearing is true or not.  There are some easy quick tricks we can use to verify (which means to check out or investigate) information.

So let’s try one of the easiest tricks.

Here is a picture that I found online a Cabbit.  Online it says it is a cross between a cat and a rabbit.  Isn’t it adorable?

So let’s run a Google Search on the information we want to verify.  So open up Google and type the word cabbit in the search box.  Or, if you’re on an ipad or have a home assistant, ask it out loud what a cabbit is.  What did you discover from a simple search?  Is it real or fictious (not real, imaginary).  Type your answers in the comments on this page.

This shows us that the fastest way to check if information is true or not is to look around… look in other places!  Check a couple of different websites.  See if what else you can find out.  Websites we use to find information are called our sources.  Always check more than one source, especially if something sounds fishy!

Here is a video that offers you a few more special tricks you can use when you are choosing websites and videos to use for your research projects.  Write down the 5w’s so that you can remember them when you need them!

March 18

Online Sharing Safety Game – Share Jumper

Lower School Digital Citizenship Lesson Week of March 16th

Everyone enjoys connecting with others online (especially when we are all stuck at home!)  This game is perfect for all of us right now because in a simple and clear way, it explains what kinds of information is okay to share online and what kind of information isn’t.  The only way to get your jumper higher and higher is to make the right choices about what is okay to post online.  If you make a wrong choice you get sent back down!

Make sure you read each question carefully.  It will help you to make the correct choices.  THIS GAME IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH IPADS OR OTHER TOUCH SCREENS.

Now have fun!!

Click here to play: Share Jumper Game

For anyone who might struggle with the game, watch ‘We the Digital Citizens’ for a refresher on online safety!

December 2

First Footprints with Grade 2

Our two grade two classes got their first lesson about online footprints and how we leave them.  They learned how to make sure that the footprints they are leaving online are the good kind!

I made sure to highlight a few other ways we can leave our footprints online that were not touched on in the video;

  • Comments left on websites (ex. youtube), video games, and blogs.
  • Our search history
  • Posting information that is intentionally not true
  • Posting embarrassing photos or videos of ourselves or others

We played a game where two characters – Ellie the Elephant and Mervin the Mouse left their online footprints all over the library.  Students had to find these card footprints and decide which footprints were and were not the right kind to leave online.  We all had lots of fun with this lesson!

 

October 17

Introduction to Digital Citizenship

Our grade two class got to meet some fun friends today, the super cute Common Sense Media Digital Citizens!

Each one represents a different aspect of digital citizenship;

  • Arms: Use your arms when you’re online to balance your time. 
  • Guts: Listen to your gut to stay safe online. 
  • Feet: Use your feet carefully when leaving tracks online.
  • Legs: Use your legs to stand up to bullies online.
  • Heart: Use your heart to be kind and respectful online.
  • Head: Use your head to ask questions about what you see online.

 

Our students listened to the song we discussed what they think the song was about and they gave examples of their own experiences.  They then drew a picture to represent how they can be good digital citizens.

May 22

What is a Digital Footprint?

Today students were introduced to the concept of a Digital Footprint.  We used the example of tracks left by animals and how we can use our own deductive capabilities to infer quite a lot about an animal based on its tracks.

The same is true for us when we go online.  The sites we visit, the comments we post, the videos we upload, the games we play, all of those things create a digital footprint that can tell people about us and will exist online for a very long time.  We tied this in to the concept of responsibilities and discussed what our responsibilities are to ourselves and to others online.

Our grade 3 and 4 students came up with some of the following ideas;

Our students are getting the foundation they need to navigate the sometimes scary world of the internet in a safe and responsible way.

 

March 5

The Rings of Responsibility

Today I hosted two workshops, one with grade 3 and one with grade 4.  Our topic was a biggie… RESPONSIBILITY.  More specifically, it is about how we can become responsible digital citizens.

We watched a video of a stone being dropped into still water.  Through this we learned that each action and word has a ripple effect that extends from SELF to COMMUNITY to WORLD.

The class broke into three groups, self, community and world and discussed what each of those kind of responsibilities looked like.

We then played a game where I read out statements such as “I only use Apps and Websites that are ok for people my age” and students had to decide which ring to physically stand in.

After that we got more practice by using a handout which asked more questions of a similar nature.

This lesson was created by the brilliant educators at common sense education.  They are leaders in the field of digital citizenship education.  I highly encourage teachers to take advantage of the amazing resources available on that site.

November 12

Gaming Their Way To Good Digital Citizenship

This week and next week the library is running workshops on online safety and good digital citizenship.  The kids have been loving these workshops because the way they are learning these lessons is through an amazing Google game called ‘Interland‘.  This game is designed to guide students through four levels, each dealing with a particular issue.

The worlds are;

  1. Mindful Mountain – Share with Care – students are asked to determine who they should share certain types of information with.
  2. Reality River – Don’t Fall For Fake – this game poses questions about how to protect yourself from phishing and other scams.
  3. Tower of Treasure – Secure Your Secrets – this level is about protecting private information and creating secure passwords
  4. Kind Kingdom – It’s Cool to Be Kind – this level is about the importance of being kind online and standing against cyber bullying

The kids enjoyed the game so much they were asking to stay over recess and continue.  Our discussions before the game indicated that the children knew very little about how to protect themselves online.  But they took away so much from the game that our discussion after playing it was very rich.  I will be sharing this link with other grades and parents as I think this is a great tool for educating any student, not just the young ones.