Safety on the Internet

October 29, 2012

With the Internet being used more frequently by students for educational purposes, it is important that they have guidelines to follow to navigate online as safely as possible.  The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (n.d.) recommends that “As a parent or guardian, you shouldstay well-informed about current issues to understand what your children are experiencing on and off the Internet.”  Both teachers and parents need to be aware of possible safety issues that can arise in order to set appropriate guidelines and educate students about safety while on the Internet.  

Below is a guide to safety on the Internet that teachers can share with elementary students. 

Do not share personal information with others online.

The FBI’s Kids Safety Tips webpage reminds Internet users that “people online may not be who they say they are. Someone who says ‘she’ is a ’12-year-old girl’ could really be an older man.”  In their book Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching, Roblyer and Doering (2012) refer to them as online predators.  Personal information may include your full name, age, the school you attend, your home address, phone number, usernames, passwords, or a picture of yourself.  If someone asks you for personal information, do not share it and be sure to tell a teacher or parent. 

Be respectful of others.

Although you may not be able to see someone on the other end of a computer, you have to remember that you are still communicating with other real people.  Roblyer and Doering (2012) describe cyberbullying as “The practice of using technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person.”  Bullying others online is not acceptable, just as it is not in person.  Remember, school rules still apply when you are online.

Tell your teacher or parents if you read or see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Whether it is a picture or message someone sent you or you just came across while on the Internet, let an adult know.  They may be able to make sure that does not continue to happen. 

Do not accept agreements to purchase or install anything without permission.  

This includes, but is not limited to downloading and installing programs onto a school computer without permission or agreeing to subscribe to something, even if it seems educational.  Files may contain viruses that can harm the school’s computers and network.  Subscriptions may require a fee to be paid at a later date that you may not be aware of at the time.  Always check with your teacher if something is telling you to download a file or accept an agreement.

 

Here are some sites that you or your students can visit to learn more about Internet Safety:

FBI Kids Safety Tips: http://www.fbi.gov/fun-games/kids/kids-safety

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children – Online Safety Information Kit & Other Resources: http://www.netsmartz.org/Educators

Goodwill Community Foundation – Internet Safety for Kids: http://www.gcflearnfree.org/internetsafetyforkids

Free BrainPop Video on Cyberbullying: www.brainpop.com/technology/computersandinternet/cyberbullying/

 

References:

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (n.d.). Kids – Safety tips. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/fun-games/kids/kids-safety

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. (n.d.). NetSmarts: Basic internet safety. Retrieved from http://www.netsmartz.org/InternetSafety.

Roblyer, M.D, & Doering, A.H. (2012). Integrating educational technology into teaching (6th Edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.


Social Networking and Walled Gardens

October 21, 2012

Here is a link to my VoiceThread recording on social networking and walled gardens: https://voicethread.com/share/3563829/

Resources:

žCofino, K. (2009, October 4). How to connect your students globally. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://kimcofino.com/blog/2009/10/04/how-to-connect-your-students-globally/

Reed, J. (2007, September 28). Global collaboration and learning: How to create a world of success without leaving your classroom. Retrieved from http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2007/09/global-collaboration-and-learning

Roblyer, M.D, & Doering, A.H. (2012). Integrating educational technology into teaching (6th Edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Smith, F. (2007, April 20). How to use social-networking technology for learning. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/how-use-social-networking-technology


Multimedia and Hypermedia in the Classroom

October 14, 2012

Here is my video blog on the relative advantage of using multimedia and hypermedia in the classroom.

These are the resources I mention:

Roblyer, M.D, & Doering, A.H. (2012). Integrating educational technology into teaching (6th Edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Griffin, L. (n.d.).  Using video in the classroom.  Video Library Company.  Retrieved from: http://www.libraryvideo.com/articles/article13.asp.


Relative Advantage of Using Spreadsheets and Databases in Education

October 7, 2012

Being able to use spreadsheets is an important skill for students to have and understand.  According to Teach-nology.com , Microsoft Excel is “seen by many as the industry standard for data analysis, including graphing and producing tables” (n.d.).  Many career fields include the use of data analysis, so it would be beneficial to students to apply such software, not only so students are familiar with it, but to also make the analysis of data in school more realistic.  Although Microsoft Excel is seen as the industry standard, learning how to use any data analysis software, such as Google Docs Spreadsheet, will help to provide students with experience and understanding of the basic functions.

In their book, Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching,  Roblyer and Doering (2012) share that using spreadsheets can offer teachers and students the following benefits: save time, organize displays of information, support in visualizing the impact of change, and increased motivation in math.  These benefits can have a great impact on student achievement, especially in mathematics.  Although math concepts in data analysis are basic for elementary students, it is important to present it in a concrete way to develop a strong foundation for more advanced math concepts.  When it comes to increasing motivation in math, Roblyer and Doering state, “Students sometimes perceive mathematical concepts as dry and boring; spreadsheets can make these concepts so graphic that students express real delight with seeing how they work” (2012, p. 125).  I can see how providing students with the access to create eye-catching tables and graphs to display their data from a science experiment would get them more involved in the data analysis portion which would help to keep them engaged through the entire project.

Database software is another important tool for students to know about and understand.  Roblyer and Doering (2012) describe databases as “computer programs that allow users to store, organize, and manipulate information, including both text and numerical data” (p. 152).  Google Doc Forms provides a simple system where students can create an online survey or poll for peers to complete.  Results are then stored and managed with a Google Doc Spreadsheet.  Students may not necessarily create and manage a large database in elementary school, but they will most likely have a lot of experience in using them without realizing it.  The first database system that comes to mind for students to access is in their school library.  Any time they want to look up a book on a specific topic or by a favorite author, they can go to a computer to search for titles.  Another commonly used database system is computer-based testing, which many standardized state assessments are being administered with.  If students have an understanding of how databases work, they will be able to use them more efficiently.

Spreadsheets and databases are both tools with a lot of benefits for students in elementary school.  Introducing them at an early age is important in order to provide them with experiences in ways to effectively collect, manage, store, and recall data.  Being aware of the uses and functions will allow students to apply spreadsheets and databases when needed.

Resources:

Roblyer, M.D, & Doering, A.H. (2012). Integrating educational technology into teaching (6th Edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Teachnology, Inc. (n.d.). Excel in the classroom.  Retrieved from: http://www.teach-nology.com/tutorials/excel/.