October is Internet Safety Month. It is not the only time we discuss Internet Safety, but it is the time to begin the discussion.
Since we teach Internet Safety from kindergarten on, I am always looking for new ways to engage the older students in this discussion. The fourth graders watch the BrainPOP movie on Internet Safety as part of the curriculum. Last year, I had the students share what they had learned using activity prompts from BrainPOP. You can read about it here: Staying Safe Online as Explained by Fourth Graders.
This year, after watching the BrainPOP movie. The students engaged in a turn and talk. They shared a fact that was: new to them, a great reminder, or a question. After the turn and talk, the students shared out what the other person in their pairing had said. Following this, the students left comments on a Padlet wall. After demonstrating how to use the Padlet Wall, I set the expectations: full sentences, proper grammar and punctuation.
We didn't just learn about Internet Safety. We learned about expressing our knowledge and opinions. Giving students an opportunity to share what they know in small groups and whole groups, gives them a chance to frame their thoughts, practice sharing ideas, and public speaking. Giving students an opportunity to share what they know via technology projects gives them a chance to practice good digital citizenship: writing in full sentences with proper grammar and punctuation.
You will notice that not all students followed these expectations. This week, We'll review the expectations, look at their comments (which are great in content!), talk about good digital citizenship, and look toward next time.I may have not been explicit enough and likely needed to go beyond modeling it by leaving an exemplar comment on the wall for students to follow. (I deleted mine after typing it.) We are all learners!
Here was the prompt:
Here are some of their comments: