Great resources for teaching students to be Internet savvy are here! It is a necessity to be smart about security and digital footprint conscious. We are molding the future of Internet users each and every day. It doesn't matter if you are in a 1:1 technology environment, have carts of devices you wheel into your classroom, or if you take your students to the computer lab once a week, training students to be wise online is a part of what we do.
Google just launched a new site with more opportunities for students and teachers alike. If you visit beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com, users can access a wide range of resources.
Interland is an online game for elementary students to navigate through some of the tough questions we face with the troubles of the Internet. As students navigate through Interland, they explore the concepts of being kind online, secure passwords, information protection, and being Internet savvy. Each world focuses on a different area of being Internet awesome. The worlds are as follows:
Students should be aware that what they say online can affect others. Online bullies should be reported or blocked to create a safe environment for others. This world consists of the user spreading positive messages to others and taking action when bullies are present.
There are a lot of schemes and tricks online to get your to give up personal information and/or buy unwanted services. Being aware that these advertisements and schemes exist will help students to think twice before clicking on them. This world has a series of scenarios where these schemes exist and make the best choice.
Being conscious of what you share with whom you share is important. Not all information is necessary for the whole world to see. This world runs the user through a series of scenarios and causes him/her to question what information should be shared and with whom.
Tower of Treasure
Password security is important. Users should change their passwords often to keep data secure. They should also utilize a series of upper and lower case letters along with numbers and symbols. The users collect letters, numbers, and symbols to build a secure password.
Resources for Teachers
Along with Interland for students, there are also great resources for teachers. Interland shouldn't be used in isolation. The information in the game will not be very meaningful unless there is deeper content taught in conjunction with the game. There is an online curriculum (that can be downloaded) that has a series of lessons and activities to go through with your students. The students should be discussing online safety and their digital footprint to make it meaningful.
Teacher Training Course
Google is also offering a Digital Citizenship and Safety Course for teachers. To complete the course, the teacher must read through content, watch a few short videos, and answer questions pertaining to online safety. It would be good for all teachers to go through this content. I found it to be beneficial as reminders of things I should be doing to make sure my information is kept secure.
If you are a teacher in my school district, please complete the course. If you do so and receive your certificate of completion, forward it to me via email and I will send you a certificate for two Professional Growth Points.
What's in the Video
The video below gives an overview of where to find all the contents listed in this blog post. I go through how to access Interland, the online safety curriculum, and the teacher training course. So check it out and be Internet awesome!