Sunday, December 13, 2009

Online Safety Lesson Plan

It took some interest in Twitter from reedertweeter, who teaches next door to me, to get me moving on my own plans for Twitter in the classroom to break down classroom walls and further encourage classroom community. However, since my students also like to post inappropriate or off topic talkbacks to polleverywhere when we use it to respond to texts as a class, I thought I'd better talk a little bit about online safety and considering one's audience.

This is a lesson adapted from Stephen's lesson on responsible blogging. I've tried to tweak the lesson for my remedial reading students.

Objectives: The student will be able to:
  • Identify information about themselves they might not want to post online
  • Recall arguments both for and against filtering the internet on computers used by students
  • Compare and contrast the two arguments
  • Evaluate examples of classroom internet use policies
  • Create their own policy for doing work online
Grounding - 15 minutes
First, students should do a Google search for someone (preferable who they know) with a decent web presence (I think this works best if it isn't someone famous so you don't get a bunch of tabloid links). After checking to make sure there were no strange websites out their with my name on them, I asked students to Google me and look for any information about the person that they didn't know before. After 10 minutes, bring the group together to share some of the things they found. Mention that is sounds like you have to be careful what you put online, because anyone could find it.

Independent Reading - 15 minutes
Next, using the table below, ask students to read the following articles and record each sides arguments: the advantages and disadvantages for letting students uncensored access to the internet.

Advantages for students online

Disadvantages for students online

Share - 5 minutes
Bring students together again and ask them to share their results.

Blog Policies - 10 minutes
Finally, ask students to take a look at the student created blog policies from Bud the Teacher's wiki and begin brainstorming policies for our own online policies.

Students seemed to pick up the newspaper article just fine, but I think Bud's appropriate metaphor and Will's vocabulary may have been a bit much to sift through for information. Maybe if I could find a podcast or a video, that might help my students to have it in an additional media.

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