Gabrielle is going to be 10 this summer and she knows WAY more about technology than I did at that age. When I was 10, I was still playing Barbies, having fun drawing/coloring, playing Nintendo, and loving my walkman. I would not have guessed that some day my kids would have access to a home computer, laptop, tablet, Internet, iPod, social media, etc… That would have been just crazy talk, right?! Not!
Want some real crazy talk? We let our kids have access to the Internet, yet we supply them with no tools to protect themselves. Now, that’s crazy! Seriously, think about it.. the Internet allows our kids to have access to so much information, good stuff but also bad stuff like: cyberbullies, viruses, predators, hackers, etc.. They might know more about technology than we do (or did), but they are still as vulnerable as we were at that age. Lucky for us, Intel Security and Discovery Education Canada have come together to create the Intel Security Digital Safety Program. This three-year education initiative was created to teach our children/students, aged 8-11, how to make safer decisions while using the Internet and to “Think Before You Link”.
The program, which has three modules: Cybersafety, Cybersecurity, and Cyberethics, is a great tool for families and for educators looking to educate their children and students about staying safe online, dealing with cyberbullies, the importance of their digital footprint, to think before they link, and much more!
The latest module Cyberethics includes tips like:
- Respect yourself and others when posting material online.
- What you post online can upset or hurt people, because it’s available for everyone to see.
- Anything posted online can be there forever.
- Before sharing material about other people online, ask them permission.
- Stop and think before you post online.
- Treat everyone online the way you would like to be treated.
As you can see, it’s a great module and I couldn’t wait to learn more. I completed the Family Curriculum Module and I learned A LOT. Lots of great tips on how to help your child create a positive footprint, how to prevent or stop cyberbullying, how to guide your child to protect devices and digital information, and so much more!
As soon as I completed the Family Curriculum Module, I knew I wanted Gabrielle to do the Student Curriculum Module. I mean, if I learned a lot from the module, I could just imagine how much she would learn from the student module.
As Gabrielle went through the module she learned different things. She learned the importance of her digital footprint. She had no idea that what she posts online is a representation of who she is, and that it can last forever. Meaning friends, family, teachers, future employers, and even people she doesn’t know could see what she shares online. In other words, her digital footprint is her reputation. She learned how to prevent and deal with cyberbullies. She especially liked the “Think Before You Link” motto. At one point during the module, she looked at me and told me this: “Mom when you write on your blog, remember that when you type something, the person reading it can’t hear your tone of voice.” I thought it was great that she was actually processing what she was learning. She also learned how to properly share digital content, ask permission first, and make sure to credit properly.
Once she had completed the Cyberethics curriculum module, she received an Intel Digital Safety Expert Certificate!
Do you want to know the first thing she said after she got her certificate? “Now that I’m an Intel Digital Safety Expert can I have a Facebook account?” Oh goodness! I guess we’ll have to start thinking about it!
I highly suggest that you visit ca.thinkbeforeyoulinkinschool.com and take advantage of the Intel Security Digital Safety Program. It was created to help you and the children/students around you to stay safe! And if you aren’t convinced yet, check out these statistics:
These statistics sure make you think, right?! We need to start talking to our kids and NOW!
I’d like to know, are your kids on social media? Which one(s)?
What age do you think is ok for them to start using social media?
Have a GREAT day and remember to always treat people with respect, online and offline too!
Disclosure: Although this post has been generously sponsored by Intel Security (McAfee Canada), the opinions and language are my own.