Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Teaching Cyber Safety in Kindergarten

A local radio program recently helped me understand the huge problems that are beginning to happen with children and our ever growing use of technology. One issue is the use of mobile devices to take photos and recordings. In particular, when children share photos, there are opportunities for problems to arise. How can we make sure our children are safe? We believe that talking to our kindergarten children about taking photos could definitely help. In the same way we talk to our students about WHY and HOW we write stories and different texts in the classroom, we need to talk to them about WHY and HOW we take photos in the classroom. Hopefully when we engage our children in thinking about the audience for our photos in kindergarten, they will take some knowledge with them into the primary grades when they may be tempted by their friends to record inappropriate photos. We think there is a huge benefit in starting to engage young students in a dialogue about the use and consequences of taking photos. For kindergarten, we would be particularly sensitive in our discussions in the classroom. The last thing you would want to do as a teacher is put ideas about inappropriate photos into the minds of your students. We would recommend discussing digital photographs with kindergarten in terms of what IS appropriate.
We have created a set of discussion posters to work through as you introduce this in your classroom. You can print these poster out and laminate them to use as a stimulus for classroom discussion, or you could open the pdf file on the Smartboard and work your way through the questions.
This resource does not aim to provide a whole program or lesson on cyber safety, but give you support in starting a discussion with your students. The depth and detail that you discuss will be dependent on the characteristics of your particular class and students.
I used the wonderful technology graphics from Oxana of Teacher's Clipart to help make this file.
We hope to add more resources soon to create a whole Cyber Safe range of resources.