Having completed the four modules on connect.ed, I feel more equipped to assist students to learn about online risks and making safe and informed decisions while using ICT. I have wanted to learn more about online safety and know how to communicate this message to children in a positive and meaningful way. In these modules, the Toolkit and Glossary of Terms was helpful to me personally as I was not familiar with some of the terminology related to online communication. It was great to find such an amazing range of games and activities that children can to explore to learn about online safety and using ICT responsibly. The educational specialists in the videos gave practical advice about contemporary trends and online practices, the risks and practical ways that teachers and parents can work together to monitor ICT use inside and outside of the classroom to prevent cyberbullying.
As pointed about by Postman in ‘Postman’s 5 Things’ with every new advancement in technology there are both advantages and disadvantages/risks. While the use of ICT makes knowledge acquisition and networking convenient and accessible, it also increases the risk of exposure to inappropriate sites, online predators and cyberbullying. When students use ICT responsibly it can be a powerful tool to enhance learning and communicate with others in a constructive and ethical way.
The range of resources available for teaching in the classroom are amazing and are aimed at all levels of schooling. Digital media literacy, positive online behaviour, peer and personal safety and e-Security are covered. Content is aligned with the Australian Curriculum and Standards 2, 4 and 6 of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
For Year 1 and early Primary students the resources (listed below) are my favourite ones and I would like to use these while on Prac. They contain appealing visuals, characters and voices that address important online safety issues:
Hector’s World for children aged 5+ involving sea creatures who are friends and go on adventures which involve learning how to keep personal information safe online, safe sites and online security and all about cyberbullying.
Astro Circus contains lesson plans with five key messages using the word THINK for children to learn how to be safe online, treat others with respect in all communications and the importance of keeping your personal details private.
For young children who enjoy space and sci-fi related topics, pbskids.org involves an interactive game which teaches children to observe, respect and make constructive online contributions.