Cyber Safety for Educators
This course on Cyber Safety provides informational articles, resources and activities to inform participants about risks and responsibilities inherent in using Internet resources. Participants are presented with insights into possible dangers student users face as well as guidelines to help safeguard them as they utilize the vast resources of the Web. The course consists of six sessions plus an Orientation during which participants actively investigate cyber safety issues and plan a presentation for sharing cyber safety issues with their students.
This is an introductory course for teachers, technology specialists, curriculum specialists, professional development specialists and administrators. Participants are expected to have regular access to computers. Although not a requirement, high speed Internet access definitely enhances the online experience. Participants should be proficient with using email, browsing the Internet, and navigating through computer files. Access to Microsoft Office is recommended. Participants who do not have access to Microsoft Office should download Open Office documents (a free download from Microsoft) to enable them to read and send word documents throughout this course.
This course will enable participants to:
identify major cyber safety issues for students,
recognize, know how to report and be alert to spam, scams and other intrusions,
understand fair use, plagiarism, illegal downloading and copyright laws,
develop/ utilize Acceptable Use Policies for students,
understand precautions of using social networking resources,
identify risks, rights and responsibilities of Internet users and promote safe Internet usage, and
develop a presentation to foster cyber safety for student.s
Assessment and Course Requirements
Each session includes readings, activities and a discussion assignment, which participants are required to complete. High-quality, active participation in the online discussions is vital to the understanding and completion of the course. Additionally, participants will develop portions of a cyber-safety presentation during each week’s session culminating in a overall presentation with multiple pages for their students. Weekly assignments address sections of this presentation and weekly peer feedback will provide substantial responses to participants' work. Directions and a Project Rubric are provided in Session One.
The project for this course is a presentation for students, parents and/ or administrators/ other educators for the purpose of "educating, engaging and empowering" them in safe practices online. Components of the presentation and a rubric to guide development and assessment of the product are provided in Session One.
Participants will be evaluated weekly on the frequency and quality of their participation in the discussion forum. There are two discussion topics per week for Sessions One through Six. In Discussion A, participants are required to post a minimum of three substantial postings each session, including one that begins a new thread and two that respond to existing threads. Postings that begin new threads will be reviewed based on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited, and overall quality. Postings that respond to other participants will be evaluated on relevance and the degree to which they extend the discussion. Participants are to read all original messages by course colleagues and enough additional responses to make a total of 50% of the messages posted for that session.
In Discussion B, participants will share the weblink to their presentations and will provide feedback to at least one other class participant on their work.
Session One: Cyber Safety: Protecting Our Students
During Session One, participants will investigate cyber safety issues student users of the Internet may encounter, examine their school/ county/ state policies on cyber safety and consider and share their own ideas about keeping students safe on the Internet.
Session Two: Spam, Scams and Other Intrusions
During Session Two, participants will explore various spam, scams and other Internet intruders that users need to guard against. Participants will learn about the predators and ways of reducing risks as well as where to report violations.
Session Three: Legal and Ethical Use of the Web
Session Three focuses participants on the illegal use of Internet resources and provides participants with current resources to help them understand these dangers. Participants will investigate and review scenarios involving fair use and copyright laws as they apply to web resources as well as the dangers of plagiarism and illegal downloading of resources.
Session Four: Online Communities: Social Networking
During Session Four, participants will access explore social networking sites including Facebook, MySpace and twitter and will share their ideas about possible dangers and preventive measures they'll share with students and parents through their blogs.
Session Five: Risks, Rights and Responsibilities
During Session Five, participants will investigate and become familiar with the risks faced by Internet users, rights of users, educators and parents as they focus their blog information on responsibilities of educators, parents, Internet providers, and site hosts.
Session Six: Educate, Engage, Empower
During Session Six, participants will read and complete articles and activities supporting students' safe use of Internet resources. They will provide current research data and tips to "educate, engage, and empower" students and their families in making online experiences safe and enjoyable as they embed resources of the World Wide Web in their world of learning.