Cyber Safety Thought Information Literacy
Teaching cyber safety in school is a tremendous challenge. Try as we may, lecturing to students who know more about technology than the teacher is not going to make our children cyber safe. On top of that, adding additional curriculum to an already overburdened teacher's job is problematic at best. Here in the U.S., pressures to perform on standardized tests and meeting the federal mandates have already had negative impact on arts, music and education in other areas. The last thing teachers need today is another underfunded mandate.
Students get into trouble online primarily because they are making poor decisions. They do so because they often don't understand the connection between the online world and the real world. They don't understand that online actions often have off-line consequences, nor do they have the critical thinking and problem solving skills to be able to evaluate the quality of information they encounter and the communications they receive.
Cyber safety should not and can not be taught in isolation, because it is part of the life skills they need. It can be integrated into the curriculum as a sub-set of Information and Technology Literacy, a collection of skills that allows students to locate and use information efficiently and effectively. Studies show that students who possess these skills perform better on tests and are more successful in life.
At WiredSafety Learning, we seek to make students good cyber citizens who are efficient problem solvers, independent critical thinkers, and effective communicators. These skills will allow them to develop and internalize a set of safety guidelines that are real and meaningful.
Our aim at WiredSafety Learning is to help teachers guide students toward "Cyber Safety through Information Literacy" by providing a set of lessons and learning objects that can serve as professional development and effective teaching and learning tools. As you use these activities you will be focusing first and foremost on building critical thinking and problem solving skills with students, rather than lecturing about cyber safety. The cyber safety messages are either built into the activities or incorporated into the debriefing process that takes place in the classroom.
WiredSafety Education Technology Director