Looking for outstanding resources dealing with Internet safety for k-8 students. Presos, sites, info, ideas, whatever you've used or would suggest. I'm looking to build a district wide presentation on the topic as well as adopt/create a curriculum for my district. Thanks for any help you might be able to provide.

Tags: Internetsafety, cyberbullying, help, safety

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I am having a big problem with the freedom that everyone is willing to give to a K-8 student. Putting in the same sentence the words Internet safety, and children is very difficult for me to deal with.

As an educator I would not want to jeopardize my state certification and reputation because some people want to give k-8 students access to Internet sites. The Internet is a great resource and I am 100% for it but we need to think a little about it. How about if teachers recommend sites for K-8 students and those are the only sites students can go to? There are some districts that have implemented this model. Teachers have been issued a generic student ID and password as well as their own personal and private ID and password. Teacher IDs have "typical" privileges but the student ID has access to certain sites only. These sites are listed on a web page for easy access. So, if a student is logged in the teacher does not have to monitor what the student is doing because there is no way they an go to an inappropriate site.

Bad sites are created everyday and there is no way a subscription to a filtering application could keep up with this proliferation. I can give you so many examples of students accessing inappropriate content while the teacher was busy trying to manage the various activities in the classroom. A teacher with excellent classroom management ability could very well handle K-8 students accessing the Internet but it is a difficult task.

Sincerely,
Evan Panagiotopoulos
There are two extremes of responses to the Internet as an educator: either teach students how to navigate the web safely and allow full access, or only allow access to pre-viewed sites and assume the student will 'learn' how to use the internet from these. Both extremes have some unrealistic tenets, but the reality is that the net is a (potentially) dangerous, and very powerful, resource that children can, and do, use very early in life. When a child goes home, s/he has often unrestricted access - whether a teacher agrees with the sanity of this is another matter, it is simply a reality.

As educators, we have the option of teaching students how to navigate their world (for it is a very real part of their world, more real than for most adults) or not. Why not choose education over censorship? There are a number of very effective filters for student accounts, similar to what you might want to see in a school library's acquisition strategy. The web is too powerful to let children do whatever they please, especially during school hours - but it is too powerful to ignore. This power lies in the flood of information, networking, and diversity of viewpoints and perspectives; allowing access to only certain sites is cutting them off from learning how to use this power responsibly and effectively.
If I missed it, apologies...but Dr. Russell Sabella has done a LOT on this topic
His book is on his site: GuardingKids.com
A Practical Guide to Keeping Kids Out of High-Tech Trouble

He is a counselor educator.

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