Creating and maintaining a safe learning environment is every school’s duty. However, that duty isn’t limited to face-to-face instruction. Schools must also make sure that students are safe online and on school-owned devices. Online student safety became a major issue during the pandemic, when technology took center stage in education. That isn’t likely to change, as schools engage various technology platforms to reach tech-savvy students. Thankfully, there are a variety of helpful resources for teaching students about safety and digital citizenship. Here are three online safety resources for school-aged kids.
The FBI offers a free program designed to teach young students about digital citizenship and safety. The FBI created their Safe Online Surfing (FBI-SOS) Internet Challenge to engage students enrolled in grades three through eight. The FBI-SOS course offers teachers a secure system for managing and monitoring the progress of their students. The class covers a variety of essential topics for staying safe online. These topics include safety issues like keeping passwords secure and avoiding malware. Also, the FBI-SOS covers topics important to digital citizenship, such as cyberbullying and social media etiquette and safety.
As every parent and teacher knows, it’s all too easy for young children to find themselves in unsafe situations online. Kentucky’s Kosair for Kids Face It Movement and Exploited Children’s Help Organization collaborated to develop a new resource to teach online safety. The program, Cyber Safety 101, offers valuable resources for parents and teachers to talk to children about internet safety. The program provides definitions of salient topics, such as sextorition, grooming, and cyberbullying. Cyber Safety 101 also provides a list of topics for conversation with older and younger children. Moreover, the site offers a link to the CyberTipline for reporting incidents of sexual exploitation of children online.
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) gathers invaluable information on its page for individuals and families. The NCSC covers everything from dealing with common security breaches and hackers to reporting sextortion and fraud. They also offer a helpline for advice as to how to handle situations like cyber-fraud. Additionally, their CyberAware program instructs students and families as to how to keep their electronic devices and communications safe and secure. Through step-by-step walk-throughs and videos, CyberAware shows students how to create safe passwords, activate 2-Step Verification, and more.
Keeping Children Safe on School Computers
Screen monitoring software solves several important issues for schools. For one, screen monitoring software like LearnSafe works with content filters to protect students from harm. LearnSafe detects at-risk behavior on school devices. It can also detect instances of grooming and cyberbullying. Moreover, LearnSafe teaches students good digital citizenship and online safety. When students are aware that LearnSafe is installed on school computers, they will be more cautious about their online behavior. LearnSafe helps students learn how to think carefully about online behavior and interactions. It also offers protection in the case of mistakes by protecting students from harm.