This blog will look at the Google’s Digital Citizenship and Safety Course, reflecting on it’s strengths and weaknesses. It will also consider where responsibly lies for teaching these important skills to students.
Unit 2: TEACH STUDENTS ABOUT INTERNET SAFETY AND PRIVACY
An interesting video that I would use with students in parts. It gave a lot of information straight away and I would like to look at it in small chunks, pausing the video to have a discussion with my students. In addition to this, the questions posed at the beginning of the unit would be very good starters for a lesson. I thought that the quiz was pointless – I can’t see how it added to my understanding.
Overall this unit, was rather basic. I think it might be a good starting point for staff training to give context to a discussion of creating passwords. I believe that this training could have explored the idea of changing passwords frequently and how you can use a password manager, especially as this was in the quiz at the end.
Unit 3: ONLINE SAFETY ON THE GO
I like the idea of ‘setting boundaries’ around the use of mobile devices – this is very good advice and comes right at the end of the video. I would be excellent to use the questions at the beginning of the unit as a survey – the results might be frightening!
I believe that students and adults take mobile phone security far more seriously than any other kind. Some of the advice is rather generic and, again, basic. Setting pass codes is becoming a thing of the past with facial recognition and finger print technology, I wonder if they will review this unit in light of that?. It is, however, still important to ensure that the codes you use are hard to crack, as these codes are often and back up. Mobile security connects strongly with Unit 2, as one need to have strong passwords for accounts etc.
Within this unit, I felt that it would have been beneficial to talk about keychains and how credit card and account information is stored and what you can do to secure this information, especially when you can take your phone to several websites, purchase goods and fill nothing in as autofill will do it all after you type in your first name. I wasn’t 100% sure how the whole unit connected to the initial questions on social media…
Unit 4: SAVVY SEARCHING
I think that this is the most important Unit in this series.
These questions are extremely valuable a deserve to stand alone as discussion points in any good Professional Development on Technology use in the classroom:
- How important is finding reliable information for your job as an educator? And how important is finding reliable information for your students to do their schoolwork?
- Where do your students first hear about world events?
- What makes them trust what they read on a website?
- As a teacher, do you think your students know how to find reliable information online?
It is extremely important that students are constantly questioning what they are reading and look for validity, a very challenging task online. I felt that this unit was left short. Introducing the rule of thumb that 3 sources are a minimum, works well – especially with personal blogs and when it is difficult to identify who has written the information presented.
As an educator is is always good to introduce the concept of reliability and validity early on, I deliver course to grades 4 and 5 on this topic. These is especially important at this stage to ready the grade 5 students for their exhibition project. I have found that looking at websites that are completely fake and asking questions about them is a really fun way to explore the topic of validity – it is clear that many of the student believe that just because an adult has picked the sources they are reliable. I particularly like the website on ‘Dehydrated water’ and teach ICT have a list of some good resources.
It is also good to point out to students that they should use their own knowledge and common sense to assess sources – does it seem reliable? This video is an excellent example (be sure to show them the making of the video to):
Overall, this is a good unit. I think that it is short and to the point. It covers all the basics and I really like the idea that they should check URLs and find contact information on official sites. I always suggest that if an email looks false then copy and paste the information into google, as often others will have reported the email as a scam.
All of the units are a good starting point to work with students and staff on internet safety. I found all of the questions to be great discussion starters and I would love to investigate some of them in more depth. Internet safety has shifted in recent year and we must continually have conversations with our students about how they can stay safe online. It is everyones responsibility to ensure students are safe online, just as we would in the real world! There is a massive need for study skills to include understanding about validity and reliability of sources and this would fit extremely well into any curriculum, but it would be particularly relevant in Individuals and Societies and English literature courses.