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Feature Column: Navigating the Internet with Safe Sites for Students

Feature Column: Navigating the Internet with Safe Sites for Students

"Netsmartz Kids teaches students about internet safety through fun songs, characters and interactive games. The site does not link to any outside sites. It is safe and easy to use."

The internet is one of the most popular and valuable tools for finding and sharing information. Educators can take advantage of all the internet has to offer students with many sites that were designed for classroom use. From catching a bad internet character in a game to social networking with tweens in mind, these sites offer teachers good direction and resources that will make learning fun for all.

Feature Column

iLearn Technology is dedicated to giving teachers practical tips for integrating technology into the classroom. All of the resources are free to use and simple to implement. This column is a weekly Friday feature, don’t miss it!

Safety Land

What it is:

Safety Land is an interactive city that teaches Internet safety. Students help the Safety Land super hero catch a bad Internet character. Students search different buildings and answer Internet safety related questions. They receive feedback on their answers (right or wrong) along with an explanation about why the answer was right or wrong. When all questions have been answered, the bad Internet character is captured.

How to integrate Safety Land into the classroom:

Use Safety Land to practice and assess Internet safety. Because students have to go through a series of questions to get to the end of the game, this is a wonderful game to use to check for understanding. The site should be used throughout the year to reinforce Internet safety rules.

Tips:

Teachers can print out the entire game (all questions, answers and responses).

Privacy Playground

What it is:

Privacy Playground- The First Adventure of the Three Cyber Pigs is a game designed for ages 8-10. In the game, the Cyber Pigs play on their favorite website and encounter marketing ploys, spam, and a close encounter with an unfriendly wolf. (Think the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf in cyber space.)

How to integrate Privacy Playground into the classroom:

The purpose of the Privacy Playground game is to teach kids how to spot online marketing strategies, protect their personal information and avoid online predators. This is a great game to use in the classroom to reinforce Internet safety. Use this game before students use the Internet extensively in class. Play the game throughout the year to remind students of important Internet safety rules.

Tips:

The teacher’s guide explains how to play the game, gives background information on the issues of online marketing, spam, and children’s privacy and also provides activities and handouts for use in the classroom.

Disney’s Surfswell Island

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What it is:

Disney’s Surfswell Island is a fun interactive island where students learn about internet safety with Disney characters. Students go on an Indiana Jones type adventure with Mickey Mouse and friends around Surfswell Island to learn internet safety.

How to integrate Disney’s Surfswell Island into the classroom:

Before using the Internet in your classroom, make sure your students know the rules of the Internet. Disney’s Surfswell Island is just the place to learn and practice the rules of the Internet. When students complete the challenges of Surfswell Island, they will be able to print out a certificate of completion.

Tips:

Use this site several times throughout the year to keep the rules of the Internet fresh in students minds. Be sure to check out the teachers guide for this site!

imbee.com

What it is:

Social networking is now school networking! Imbee allows teachers to extend their classroom beyond four walls and onto the Internet. Establish class blogs and promote online interaction and collaboration. Teachers and Parents can work together closely to guide and teach about social responsibility online while increasing classroom learning.

How to integrate imbee.com into your classroom:

Use imbee as a platform for your students to publish their work. This will give students a sense of audience and act as a motivator for students. Students can collaborate on projects and help edit each others work. This is a wonderful tool for teaching students Internet safety and responsibility in a safe, controlled environment.

Tips:

Visit imbee.com/teacher for lesson plans, a teacher tour, and to find answers to questions you may have about imbee. The creators of imbee are very open and willing to take teacher suggestions and implement them in new imbee versions.

Netsmartz Kids

What it is:

Technology is quickly changing the teaching and learning environment. The Internet in particular opens up our classrooms and students to the rest of the world. Netsmartz Kids teaches students about internet safety through fun songs, characters and interactive games. The site does not link to any outside sites. It is safe and easy to use.

How to integrate Netsmartz Kids into your curriculum:

Before using the Internet in your classroom, introduce your students to the rules of the web through these fun songs and games. Netsmartz Educators offers wonderful activity cards and ideas for using Netsmartz in your classroom.

Tips:

Allow your students to explore Netsmartz often, these skills cannot be reinforced enough! Tell parents about the Netsmartz Parents page where they can learn more about keeping their family safe online.

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