Taking Another Look at ‘Think Before You Link’

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Kyle Schutt wrote a post last month on ‘Are Your Students Safe Online?’ sharing about the new Intel © Security Digital Safety Program: Think Before You Link.

Not to be biased (OK, well maybe just a little!), but any time Discovery Education partners with another organization I know I need to take a closer look. That and the fact that I have a real interest in all things related to online safety and our students.

Right off the bat I was impressed with the user interface. Front and center are links for ‘Students’, ‘Educators’, and ‘Family’, which to me is the trifecta of any initiative that is going to be successful. Leave one of these partners out and you’ve basically got a three-legged stool that isn’t going to be able to support anything.

Three topics are covered – Cybersafety, Cybersecurity and Cyberethics.

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I explored the Cybersafety module (the other two modules will be available soon). The program suggests that this is for students in grades 3 – 5, but I can assure you that it can easily be modified to address the needs of students as low as 1st grade and up to 8th grade. The students’ self-paced module (which should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete) is engaging. Not only is there text on the pages, but there is also audio allowing students who might not be able to read the text to still participate. A bonus (as a teacher) is that the user cannot just click through to the next page until the screen they are on is read to them and they have completed whatever actions are required on that page. The short multiple-choice quiz (formative assessment) at the end provides immediate feedback to the student. Once the module is completed, the user can download and print out a ‘Certificate of Completion’.

Limited access to computers? No problem! Consider using this program as a center or present to a whole class via a projection device. A 23-page Resource Guide provides screenshots of the online module along with modifications/discussion prompts for whole group learning. In addition, the Guide provides five different ideas for curriculum connections encompassing reading, writing, and technology. These ideas can be easily adapted for pairs of students to complete or even small groups. The Guide also provides links to additional resources and a list of standards covered (Common Core State Anchor Standards, ISTE Standards for Students, and American Association of School Librarian standards).

There is also a link to a ‘Toolkit’ which might be used by schools and/or educators, with a cover letter, a newsletter and a FAQ section which might prove to be useful in sharing out information about this website with the school community.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 9.30.25 AMFrom now until March 13, 2015 you can enter daily into the Sweepstakes.

Overall, this is an excellent start to a worthwhile resource for educating our students (and families) about cyber issues. I am really looking forward to seeing the two other completed Modules.

If you’ve viewed this resource (or are about to do so as a result of this post), what are your opinions about the program?

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