“Own Your Space–Keep Yourself and Your Stuff Safe Online”

This is a free 16 chapter eBook available for download here =>

New computer games promote civics education is an expanded, rebranded version of a web site founded by former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor

The iCivics program is based at Georgetown University Law School.

The iCivics program is based at Georgetown University Law School.

An “unintended consequence” of the No Child Left Behind initiative has been a decrease in civics knowledge, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said May 26 in promoting an expanded version of a web site that uses computer games to put a fun spin on learning about government.

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Youth Safety on a living internet

JUNE 4, 2010

In the late ‘90s, experts advised parents to keep the family Internet connected computer in a high-traffic part of the house, but now parents must account for Internet access points built into many digital devices, including cell phones. Research has told us that many of the early significant concerns regarding children and their use of the Internet, such as predation, exist but not nearly in the prevalence once believed. Other risks, such as cyberbullying, are actually much more common than thought – starting as early as 2nd grade for some children. Meanwhile, “new” issues such as “sexting” garner a great deal of media attention, though recent studies suggest it is not quite as common as initially believed. Given all the above and the finding of the preceding task force (the ISTTF) that not all youth are equally at risk, it now seems clear that “one size fits all” is not a good strategy. Instead, a strong argument can be made for applying the Primary/Secondary/Tertiary model used in clinical settings and risk-prevention programs to Internet safety. This “levels of prevention” method would represent a tailored and scalable approach and factor in the high correlation between offline and online risk. The approach would also work in concert with non-fear-based, social-norms education, which promotes and establishes a baseline norm of good behavior online.
Research also shows that civil, respectful behavior online is less conducive to risk, and digital media literacy concerning behavior as well as consumption enables children to assess and avoid risk, which is why this subcommittee urges the government to promote nationwide education in digital citizenship and media literacy as the cornerstone of Internet safety.
Industry, NGOs, schools, and government all have established educational strategies; however effectiveness has not been adequately measured. At the federal level, while significant progress has been made with projects such as OnGuardOnline and NetCetera, more inter-agency coordination, public awareness-raising, and public-/private-sector cooperation are needed for national uptake in schools and local communities.

• Keep up with the youth-risk and social-media research, and create a web-based clearinghouse that makes this research accessible to all involved with online safety education at local, state, and federal levels.
• Coordinate Federal Government educational efforts.
• Provide targeted online-safety messaging and treatment.
• Avoid scare tactics and promote the social-norms approach to risk prevention.
• Promote digital citizenship in pre-K-12 education as a national priority.
• Promote instruction in digital media literacy and computer security in pre-K-12 education nationwide.
Online Safety and Technology Working Group 7
• Create a Digital Literacy Corps for schools and communities nationwide.
• Make evaluation a component of all federal and federally funded online safety education programs (evaluation involving risk-prevention expertise).
• Establish industry best practices.
• Encourage full, safe use of digital media in schools’ regular instruction and professional development in their use as a high priority for educators nationwide.
• Respect young people’s expertise and get them involved in risk-prevention education.

Free online curriculum expanding to middle grades

SAS Curriculum Pathways used by more than 8,000 high schools, and soon will reach students as young as sixth grade

SAS Curriculum Pathways offers inquiry-based activities in English, math, science, social studies, and Spanish.
An online instructional resource for students in grades 8-12 that has been available to schools free of charge since December 2008 soon will include content for sixth and seventh graders as well.

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Play the Peter Rabbit game

Peter Rabbit is eating the vegetables in Mr MacGregor’s garden.

Help Peter collect as many vegetables as possible by clicking on the pictures as they pop up. Get a high score by picking onions and radishes.

Be careful not to pick the flowers or you’ll lose points!


Keeping Safe in Social Networking Sites

People socialise all the time in everyday life – it’s normal human behaviour. In today’s world, however, people are also socialising on the Internet thanks to a new type of website which connects people with common interests. These sites are commonly known as social networking web sites. Some of the most popular include YouTube, Bebo, MySpace and MSN Spaces. The popularity of these websites is quickly growing with many of them having millions of registered members. They attract people of all ages and are particularly popular with children and youth. Social networking on the Internet can be great fun, but with it there are some potential dangers that need to be addressed. If your children are using these sites (or plan to in the future) you need to help them understand the risks and provide them with strategies to stay out of danger. In this feature article learn more about these social networking websites, why children enjoy them so much, what the dangers are and what you can do to help your children them stay safe when using them.

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Children who use technology are ‘better writers’

Children who blog, text or use social networking websites are more confident about their writing skills, according to the National Literacy Trust.

A survey of 3,001 children aged nine to 16 found that 24% had their own blog and 82% sent text messages at least once a month.     read more …

Understanding kids and their use of social media

When is a phone not a phone? In the hands of children and tweens, today’s cell phones are primarily used as text messaging devices, cameras, gaming consoles, video viewers, MP3 players, and incidentally, as mobile phones via the speaker capability so their friends can chime in on the call. Parents are getting dialed in to the social media phenomenon and beginning to understand—and limit—how children use new media.

A Pocket Guide to Kids and Social Media

Internet popups on your home computer

What are Pop Ups?

There are a number of different types of pop ups but generally pop ups are small windows that appear in an Internet browser when you or your family is using the World Wide Web.

Pop ups can be grouped as:

Browser pop ups. These are the pop ups that appear when you are looking at web pages. They often contain advertising or inappropriate content.

  • Browser pop unders. Windows generated underneath the current web page you are viewing and appear after you start closing down the windows in the foreground.
  • Messenger Service advertisements. These windows appear like real system messages generated by your own computer. They may be seen if you are using Windows 2000 or XP.
  • Spyware generated pop ups. Pop ups created by malicious computer programs or spyware installed on your computer.
  • Pop ups can start appearing for a variety of reasons such as when something like a link or picture on a web page is clicked on or you move your mouse over a hidden trigger for example.

    There are some pop ups, however, that are legitimate and are used for meaningful purposes in some websites.

    What are the Dangers of Pop Ups?

    Read on …