Beginning of September, 2012
For the first three weeks of school, we met almost every other day for the “Think Digital” unit. In addition, individual teachers gave students time to get familiar with MacBook Pros. Kids had to learn how to use the track pad (for some kids, this was initially quite hard), change their desktop picture, figure out what gadget they wanted, and play with Photo Booth. So much to learn, so little time. Eventually, teachers and I realized that we need to go slowly, not overwhelmingly. Kids were also realizing that we are not going to let them take their machines home right away (like we sort of did last year….) It felt like we could spend all day teaching kids about digital citizenship and technology, but school involves reading, writing, math, music, art, P.E, Japanese too……how to fit it all in?
Next we introduced the students to The Carnegie Cyber Academy. Signing in 90 kids took some time, but we got there. This gave us an opportunity to go over the importance of remembering one’s password. Students learn about cyber safety by playing this game as a cadet in the academy, and they can earn badges as they complete a task. It is set up that kids must read everything on the screen in order to complete a task. (Someone clever thought through this.) Kids find it challenging and fun. I highly recommend it for upper elementary school students.
Being Safe Online:
Kids learned what personal information was safe to share online by discussions and the activity below. Students became aware that certain combinations of information can lead to a precise identification of a person.
This lessons was almost like a review. What I found out is children seemed to have a pretty good prior knowledge about being safe online. Perhaps many of them had a conversation about this with their parents.