Internet Safety Resources for Teachers
While the Internet offers great access to valuable resources, it also provides opportunities for inappropriate content and interactions. The Virginia General Assembly passed a bill requiring school divisions to address Internet safety within their instructional program. HCPS makes every effort to filter inappropriate material, and teachers are responsible for monitoring student internet use and providing guidance toward appropriate resources. These safety measures may not be in place at home or other locations where students use the internet, so it is important that we educate the students about appropriate behavior.
To keep students safe, all teachers are expected to:
- Monitor student use of the internet to ensure that they are complying with the Acceptable Use Agreement. If a student is found visiting a site that is not appropriate, it is the teacher’s responsibility to stop this. If the site was accessed accidentally, the student should be reminded of the Acceptable Use Agreement. If the student was purposely trying to locate inappropriate materials, he/she should be referred to the office for disciplinary action.
- Provide guidance in selecting websites for students to use. If students are conducting research, it is a good idea to provide a list of recommended sites instead of using Google or another search engine. Suggest the use of World Book Online or other databases that are provided for student use. Each school's library has a page with links to these databases.
- Provide expectation that student use of computers is for educational purposes. If students have more than a few minutes of free time on the computer, they are likely to try to locate inappropriate materials. If there is time after the student completes an assignment, the teacher should have appropriate sites for students to use. Many school web pages include links to educational resources.
- Provide age-appropriate instruction on internet safety as part of regular curriculum. The target focus for each grade level, along with resources and strategies, are included in the internet safety curriculum (see below).
- Provide guided searches rathen than open searches. Not only can open searches lead to inappropriate material, it also can be a large waste of time as students wade through material that is not relevant or that is intended for a different audience (college students rather than elementary students).
HCPS Internet Safety Curriculum
Every teacher is expected to include internet safety in their curriculum. We suggest the use of teachable moments to meet this requirement. For example, when you take the students to the computer lab, take a minute or two at the beginning of class to talk about internet safety just like you would remind children how to cross the road safely when going outside.
A focus has been identified for each grade level along with suggestions and resources that teachers may use to meet this requirement in our Internet Safety Curriculum. These are designed to be short activities that teachers can weave into daily instruction to ensure that our students have the information that they need to use the internet safely!
- Common Sense Media Classroom lessons and resources by grade level and topic area
- Cyber Criminals Most Wanted Cyber crime awareness, prevention, and safety
- Cyberethics for Teachers A lesson plan outline for elementary and middle school students
- CyberSmart! A free K-8 curriculum empowering students to use the Internet safely, responsibly, and effectively. Includes lesson plans, activities, and posters that you can print and use with your students
- CyberSmart 21st Century Activities Lessons that help students think critically about the internet as a tool for communication and collaboration
- Enough is Enough Internet Safety 101 provides information for parents to help keep their children safe online
- GetNetWise "Rules of the Road" for child safety online and some common-sense guidelines to avoid spam, malware, and protecting personal information.
- Hanover County's Internet Safety Great site with links to internet safety by grade level
- Iggy and Raser's Internet Safety Game Helps students age 3-7 learn to be safe on the internet
- iKeepSafe Videos Videos on internet safety topics for the classroom
- Internet Safety in the Elementary Years - Activities by Grade Level for K-5
- Internet Safety from Hanover County Public Schools
- Joe Showker's Internet SafetyDel.icio.usl Lots of valuable links
- Keeping Kids Safe From PBS Frontline, view the video "Growing Up Online" along with good information and resources
- Naming in a Digital World: Creating a Safe Persona on the Internet In this lesson from Read/Write/Think students explore naming conventions in digital and non-digital settings then choose and explain specific names and profiles to represent themselves online
- NetSmartz Lesson, activities, and online resources
- Privacy Playground: The First Adventure of the Three Little CyberPigs Download a game designed for children ages 7–9. The three little CyberPigs go searching for an online club house. Their search leads them through a tangle of high-powered advertising and online marketing scams – plus a close encounter with a not-too-friendly wolf.
- MouseTrap: Protecting America's Children From Online Predators Important information for parents, teachers, and other adults to help protect children when they are using the Internet.
- OnGuard Online Great information, games and videos on a wide variety of topics
- Parent's Guide to Online Kids Provides statistics on internet use, describes various programs that kids may be using online, discusses risks, and offers tips on internet safety
- Password Checker Test the strength of your passwords
- Related Resources for Internet Safety in Schools (Delicious) - Links to good Internet safety resources from Virginia DOE (pdf)
- Safe Netting and Ethics in a Digital World - From Joe Showker
- Safe Research Portaportal Links to safe research sites, sites for copyright-friendly images, music and video
- SafeKids.com and SafeTeens.com Lots of information, printable resources, online safety quiz, and more
- Safe Netting and Ethics from the Digital World - Ongoing journal that chronicles important issues about the emerging digital world. Editor: Joe Showker
- Safe Online Surfing- from the FBI highlights cyber security through games, videos, and other interactive features.
- Stop Bullying Now! Resources, games and webisodes about cyberbullying
- THMS Internet Safety Links Links for students, parents, and teachers
- Unit 10 Internet Safety Links to web resources and activities
- Web Wise Kids A non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring child internet safety by giving tips and advice to parents and children on how to protect themselves from online predators
Keeping Your Identity Safe
- How Not to Get Hooked by a Phishing Scam Tips by the FCC to help you avoid phishing scams
- Phishing Tips Cute animation with useful tips
Shopping online is convenient, and it is safe as long as you use common sense and some simple precautions. Legitimate sites use measures such as encryption to safeguard your personal information. Stop by Safeshopping.org for information to help you shop smarter.
Phishing is a way of tricking you into giving out personal information. Those emails that you receive from a bank, Paypal, Ebay, etc. asking you to update your account information are just ways of gathering your personal information. DO NOT DO THIS. Even the annoying SPAM that you receive advertising Viagra and other drugs is more likely designed to collect information than sell you anything. The FDIC reports important information and tips on keeping your personal information safe in You can Fight Identity Theft
Spyware is becoming more and more prevalent. While some forms are benign and designed mainly to gather information for marketing, others are malicious and designed to gather personal information. Protect your yourself and your computer. Regularly run software designed to detect and remove spyware. Here are some free solutions that you can download.