Students are getting online at an earlier and earlier age. As they get online, it’s important to ensure that they will be safe and that they will make appropriate choices when they get there.
Now Ontario students and teachers have another tool in their arsenal to help. The Ontario Ministry of Education has licensed access to “Passport to the Internet” for Ontario publically funded schools. Developed by the Media Awareness Network, the student is dropped into a virtual world where they explore five stations with interactive activities and learning opportunities. The goal is to learn and master the concept at each station and earn their own Passport.
The program has two entry levels – one for Grades 5 and 6 and the other for Grades 7 and 8. It is a nice complement to the already licensed Reality Check. The program is reached by internet but is actually an interactive Flash environment. The graphic and activities are engaging for students and contain good advice and learning designed to keep them safe online.
The learning stations are:
MyFace A social networking site that challenges students to create an engaging profile while protecting their privacy.
Co-Co’s Choco Match A simulated advergame that teaches the “tricks of the trade” that online advertisers use to reach young consumers.
Study Space A research assignment that teaches authentication skills through a mock search engine and by having students judge the reliability of three different Web sites.
Web Café A general introduction to safe and wise Web surfing that shows students how to judge what is behind a link, e-mail, banner ad or search result before clicking on it.
Instant Pigeon An instant messaging program in which students engage in four conversations, allowing them to make ethical choices about how to reply to their online “buddies” and how to deal with issues such as uploading photos and videos, stranger contact and cyberbullying.
The resource is now active and Ontario classrooms can be using this resource as it fits into their daily plans. Contact your district’s OESS representative to get the link.