Friday, April 23, 2010

Smart and safe kids

During this last week, third through fifth graders have been learning about online safety and privacy during library time. We've discussed keeping your personal information private, recognizing and avoiding viruses and spyware, and making good decisions about the way you interact with friends online.

Each of the third through fifth graders had some library "homework" this week. First, their job was to go home and talk to their parents or guardians about the internet and online safety. Second, if they have a profile on a site like Facebook or Myspace, their job is to log on with a parent or trusted adult, go through it together, and set up the privacy settings so that strangers can't see any personal information. In the course of preparing this curriculum, I found out that many of our fourth and fifth graders have Facebook sites that I was able to view, as a person who is not "friends" with them online... which means that any stranger could also view a child's full name, their photograph, the town they live, their friends, and often even where they go to school. And (appropriately, I guess) once again, Facebook changed its privacy settings this week in a way that shares users' information with other websites -- so even if you set it up before, you need to go in and do it again.

I'm always here as a resource if you want to come in and talk about some of these issues, and I also have books and book suggestions available for anyone in the Emerson community who is interested. Here are some links to useful resources -- and I'll add others, so check back often.

Facebook Privacy Settings: What Parents Need To Know

Protecting Personal Privacy Online

Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens

BUSD's CyberSavvy curriculum for 09-10

OnGuard Online: chatting with kids about being online

1 comment:

Janet Byron said...

Great blog, Miss Claire! I am bookmarking it!