January 20, 2013

Keeping young learners safe online

In my PD plans, January is the month for the first weeks of  TESOL EVO online courses.  “Digital Storytelling with Young Learners“ is one of my favourites.
One of the topics the teachers discuss this week is how we keep our young learners safe online. Participating teachers from different parts of the world contribute their ideas and examples from their experience.

This is how I contributed to the discussion:
How can we keep our students safe online? What do I do as a teacher?

  1.  Students learn to introduce themselves properly (first names only, no portrait photos)
  2.  I constantly remind them about the importance of keeping the information about their passwords to themselves.
  3.  I carefully choose webpages to use with students. I only recommend the pages safe for kids.
  4.  I teach students to evaluate pages they visit when looking for information.
  5.  I respect copyright and give credit to the authors. I teach about copyright and plagiarism.
  6.  I involve parents. Teachers can't be the only responsible for children. There are “Parent permission“ forms and I encourage them to contact me and take interest in their children's work.
the world is just a click away
The resources on the wiki are great and I am sure I'll learn a lot of new ways of keeping my students safe and aware of the possibilites and risks of the internet.
I have added the following sites to my list of the materials to use with students in different age and language level groups:

1 BrainPOPJr video and quizzes, vocabulary exercises, activities, etc 

2 Common Sense Media – a site with great video and text resources which  all make great reading and listening material and a starting point for a discussion in class: 
In my opinion, this is the topic we must teach continuously throughout the school year, in all age groups of learners. That's why I am definitely going to use these materials to create some lessons for my students.

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