In2edu I.C.T. Resources Enhancing Education & Learning

Digital Citizenship: Cyber Safety at Home

What is the parent's role in this fast moving world of digital media? Are you a guardian, operator, refugee or avoider? I think it is all wrapped up into taking children from a childhood to adulthood, through the teenage angst, taking your child from a more secure environment as you deliberately seek to teach them how to be a digital-citizen.
As a parent the worst things you can do is avoid getting involved, "I don't understand this stuff." If your children are good users then they should be able to teach you what you do need to know, when you need to know it and you can add other knowledge and skills  (i.e. what they are not telling you) from some of the sites listed below.
What is most important is for your children to realise that using digital devices is a privilege (especially if  adults purchased them) and that as a parent you have the right to monitor their use. For the parent, it is important to realise that you are taking your pupils on a journey from a more innocent and protected place to a point when you say goodbye and you know they have learned behaviours, values and skills that they can independently apply to their digital device use and that will enable them to be great digital citizens.
First Steps
Talk about and setup a family home contract (set of negotiated rules) for use at home. Write out, discuss, spend time with your child on this and then all sign. Include items like reserving the right to check your child's Facebook page, laptop account, Internet history email and chat. Here is a sample contract.
Install filter software if you feel it is required.
Next Steps
Check what is happening. Your children will see/hear inappropriate material from time to time and it is important to have lines of communication open so that you can chat to them and discuss issues. Have learning conversations like, "Show me the most interesting recent site you have visited from your Internet history." I expect history to be always tere, part of our school contract, missing means something has been hidden! So a simple question likes this engages you with your child in their learning but gives you a chance to quietly check.
Keep doors open. Do NOT punish the child who saw something inappropriate and told you, that is exactly what you want to encourage, so thank them and either block the site or change the method of searching.
Attend school Workshops or other meetings. If your school has given you oportunities to learn in this area then grab them with both hands. They will have a lot of experience and information to offer you and remember that what you don't quite get you can always follow up later on with your own children as you will at least know where to start. I.E. "I  know you can have more than one Internet browser on our computer. How many do we have? Do we really need four? Let's choose the best two together?"

Other References
NZ Article on K9
Our Delicious Cyber-Digital Citizenship for Parents Stack.
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Search Google as a Timeline

With topics that have time sensitivity or require you to search via periods of time then the Google Advanced search via timeline may be just the thing you need. Results are presented as a clickable timeline, Search results can be over time or focused on a certain time.
Better still perform the same search heaps faster by using Alfred as a quick way to launch searches on a Mac.
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Google Search with Reading Ages

Have you tried the advanced search where Google can now give you reading ages? Click on the advanced tab in Google search and go for it. Use the links by the reading ages at the top of the page to select the reading level. Some topics seem to respond better than others.
Better still, place this type of search in "Alfred" a mac search utility and supercharge (make easier) all the different websites (including Google Reading levels).
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Best Reference Sites

Always look for 3 sites to cross-check information, especially if you do not use one of the commercial encyclopaedias. Be fair in your use (quote and reference your sources) and look for released information that you can use.
  1. Creative Commons Search (Images and Information) 
  2. Te Ara NZ Encyclopaedia
  3. Wikipedia (Check your information against other sites as it is a Wiki) 
  4. Britannica K8 Online Encyclopaedia (your teacher has passwords) 
  5. All other Epic Databases (your teacher has passwords) 
  6. Google Search choosing good key words 

For those with a mac you can put searching in the fast lane by working out how to use Alfred (a freeware software search engine installed on your harddrive or downloadable here)
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Best Reference Sites

Always look for 3 sites to cross-check information, especially if you do not use one of the commercial encyclopaedias. Be fair in your use (quote and reference your sources) and look for released information that you can use.
  1. Creative Commons Search (Images and Information)
  2. Te Ara NZ Encyclopaedia
  3. Wikipedia (Check your information against other sites as it is a Wiki)
  4. Britannica K8 Online Encyclopaedia (your teacher has passwords)
  5. All other Epic Databases (your teacher has passwords)
  6. Google Search choosing good key words
For those with a mac you can put searching in the fast lane by working out how to use Alfred (a freeware software search engine installed on your harddrive or downloadable here)
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Using Medbury Delicious

We have created a bookmarked collection online of screened sites that will help pupils, parents and staff locate rated resources with comments. These have been screened. Here is a tip sheet on how to use it. [View]
delicious
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Being Fair and Respecting others in Your Internet Use




Did you know anything as soon as it is created and placed online has an immediate copyright in many places around the world? It does NOT need to have a copyright sign on it.

Here at Medbury we operate a values programme. The 12 values (our summary poster is here) lead us to placing importance on fair-use of others property on the web. Educationally we value thinking and the typical "copy 'n' paste and change a few words" is destructive to good learning.

We ask that pupils attribute all images, text, video and sound and other media files in the correct manner so they can "Share, Remix, and Reuse — Legally". "Creative Commons" is a way to obtain information and publish it in a way that allows easy sharing with others so they know how it can be used or re-used. Check out the pages you are using for their copyright.

This page helps you publish your work online by making choices on how you want to share it.

This page helps with understanding Creative Commons Licence Categories.




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Blazing fast web searching


Monocole is a small freeware utility that we have found that can significantly help in webs searching. Monocle is found here and we suggest you add other search engines to it as we have listed below to take your information exploring to the ultra expert level. Check out our "how to Use" tips sheet below.
  1. creativecommons.org
  2. biblegateway.com
  3. teara.govt.nz 
  4. www.k8.ebonline.co.nz/elementary (free subscription for NZ schools to Britannica online) Setup if needed via TKI EPIC Databases
  5. teachertube.com
  6. Oxford English Dictionary Online Setup if needed via TKI EPIC Databases

Do you have any search engines you think should be added to this list? Make a comment below.

For the Databases Via EPIC you will need to get the password allocated to Medbury for this year.
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