What strategies would a teacher utilize to instruct students in Internet safety?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As of October of 2012, the FBI launched a special page devoted to teaching teachers how to instill in children the importance of Internet Safety. When you visit the FBI government site choose the option for SOS, which stands for "Safe Online Searching".  In it, the FBI has created series of interactive game based on "islands" where students 3rd grade through high school can engage in a myriad of scenarios where Internet safety is of essence. The reason why it is best to start in the 3rd grade is because their developmental stage allows them to understand the importance as well as the concept of "safety" itself. Students K-2 are still at an early developmental stage and may be taught by teaching them 3-5 basic Internet rules.

Back to students 3rd through HS, aside from the FBI site, there are other ways to explain the importance of Internet safety. One of them is making a chain of events within a potential scenario where safety has been compromised.

Using a graphic organizer, such as a timeline or a hierarchical chart, you could fill the top tab with the scenario. For example:

What may happen as a result of posting a "cute" picture of yourself in an avatar that anybody can see?

Using the chart, ask students to propose positive possibilities. Then, ask them to look at the other side of the issue at hand and propose realistic bad scenarios that could develop:

  • a deviant user may see the picture
  • your picture could be altered and used in inappropriate sites
  • someone may save/keep the picture and pretend to be your friend, then hurt you.
  • the picture could be used for the purposes of identity theft. I.E, someone might pose in a website with your picture claiming to be you

Another question to be posted is:

What could happen when people find out where you are as you do a "check in" on 4quare, or Facebook.

  • Someone who you may not want to meet with might want to find you there
  • Your exact location can be learned with the map option of the 4quare app and someone might chase or stalk you there.
  • Your safety may become compromised, etc.
Further Reading:

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