2012

How to Teach Internet Safety to Younger Elementary Students

As it is Internet Safety Month, I want to share a sample lesson for teaching Internet Safety to students as young as kindergarten. Yes, you read correctly . . . kindergarten.
With children spending time online at younger and younger ages, it is vital that we explicitly teach young children how to protect themselves online. Most young children get the “Stranger Danger” talk at school, so they know about how to handle strangers in their neighborhood and in face-to-face situations.
There are three considerations when addressing Internet safety with these students. First, the transfer of handling strangers in “real life” to those in virtual environments is not automatic. It needs to be taught. Second, while most “Stranger Danger” programs teach that strangers are scary, mean and want to hurt or abduct children, this contradicts the way collaboration occurs between strangers online. Not all strangers are dangerous. Lastly, in “real life,” students can walk or run away from a potential threat. In an online environment, the danger is inside a student’s home and hard to escape without the necessary skills for handling tough situations.
This is a lesson that I have done with my kindergarten and first grade students to introduce the idea that strangers exist on the Internet and to discuss how we should interact with them.
Full Text: How to Teach Internet Safety to Younger Elementary Students | Edutopia.

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