Many parents can tell you the risks of internet use, and we have all heard of cyberbullying and privacy breaches. Although some parents want to protect their children from the world forever, that is not realistic. We must prepare them for what awaits as they get older, and in 2019 that includes teaching them about internet safety. Here are some great online tools that can help you teach your child internet safety!
1. Be Internet Awesome with Interland
This online curriculum was developed by Google, and is now available for free online! Their curriculum includes lessons and slides that parents and educators can use to start conversations with children and teens of all ages. They also have interactive games that children can play with valuable lessons about privacy, mindful posting, and more! This tool has been used by people across the U.S. and taught in many after school programs, and will continue to be useful as Google updates and expands it. Follow up with your children after they play Interland games to see what they remember!
2. Net Smartz
With an old-school PBS feel, characters Nettie and Webster are here to help your child learn about how to be safe online! This site is made for children 10 years old and under, focusing on teaching even hard lessons in a family-friendly way. They produce videos that are part of the Into The Cloud series. In addition, they have games and activities which reinforce lessons! If you are concerned about too much screen time, not to worry! This site includes printable coloring pages and activities, which means your kids can learn offscreen about internet safety. Use these activities as conversation starters, so you can learn what your kids think!
3. Capella University’s Digital Citizenship Course
This resource is great for children and teens who might be a little too old to enjoy learning games! This course focuses on teaching young people how to be good digital citizens and is also available for free online. It focuses on the three core pieces of good digital citizenship: ethics, safety, and security. This may even be a good course to go through together as a family, with weekly meetings to discuss what you are learning and how it is going to impact your internet usage! Really take the time to engage with your child as they learn new things about the online world.
Now, you are prepared to use these online tools to help your children understand internet safety, and become good digital citizens!