Online Safety: Middle & High School

Basic tips for keeping students at this level engaged:

  • Make sure your presentation is interactive! Resist the common urge to remain in the front of the class lecturing “to” the students. Your presentation will be much more engaging to these students if they are an active part of the discussion.
  • Students in this age group know a lot and most use the Internet regularly. Your best tool for keeping them focused is to engage them in the discussion by consistently asking for their feedback. Early in the presentation, find out what they know so that you can spend time reinforcing key concepts that keep them safe and build upon their understanding of what it means to be a good digital citizen.
  • Students at this age level often crave privacy. An important underlying theme to your presentation should be for them to have open communication with parents, guardians, teachers, or other trusted adults.

Key concepts for students at this age level to understand and apply to their online experience:

  • It is essential that students understand and commit to not sharing personal information with people they view as “friends” online. This includes their real name, address, phone number, financial information, school name, passwords, or other private information.
  • Although many students at this age level know basic ways to stay safe while online, they must also commit to ethical online users. Simple items to review include:
  1. Post only what you would feel comfortable with the whole world seeing, including parents or college admissions personnel.
  2. Never use the Internet to spread gossip, bully or hurt someone’s reputation.
  • Students should understand what security tools are available to use on most computers to further protect themselves, their personal information, and their computer from viruses, spyware, and spam.
  • Students must also understand that they are in charge of their online experience and should manage it the way they would in the real world. If something or someone online makes them feel uncomfortable, they have the right to not respond, delete a post, and most importantly tell a trusted adult.
  • Students must commit to never meet in person with someone they met online.

via Middle & High School | StaySafeOnline.org.

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