Internet Safety Curriculum Implemented in 2009-2010
by Mary Gricus
Illinois Public Act 095-0869 requires that beginning with the 2009-2010 school year, every school district in Illinois must incorporate into the school curriculum a component on Internet safety to be taught at least once each school year to students in grade 3 and above. The primary purpose of the statute is to protect students from inappropriate or illegal communications and solicitations that may occur on the Internet. Additionally, the Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) association noted that a federal law also requires Internet safety education. The Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act was recently added to Public Law 110-385 (Broadband Data Improvement Act). The language in the federal law requires that schools receiving e-Rate funds must teach students about appropriate behavior on social networks and chat room web sites, as well as the dangers of cyber bullying. Compliance with the federal act will be tied to e-Rate discounts received for Internet access.
The Illinois statute states that the age-appropriate units of instruction may be incorporated into current courses of study regularly taught in the district’s schools. It is recommended that the units of instruction include the following topics: 1) Safe and responsible use of social networking websites, chat rooms, electronic mail, bulletin boards, instant messaging, and other means of communication on the Internet; 2) Recognizing, avoiding and reporting online solicitations of students, their classmates and their friends by sexual predators; 3) Risks of transmitting personal information on the Internet; 4) Recognizing and avoiding unsolicited or deceptive communications received online; 5) Recognizing and reporting online harassment and cyber-bullying; 6) Reporting illegal activities and communications on the Internet; and 7) Copyright laws on written materials, photographs, music and video. Because students are accessing Internet sources at increasingly younger ages, our district's planning team also selected safety lessons for students in grades Kindergarten through second grade.
The State Board of Education has recommended several resources regarding child online safety. With the leadership of our Instructional Technology Coordinator, Tracy Simon, a team of teachers researched and evaluated available Internet safety curriculum resources. A representative from each school participated in the planning: Jill Jehs Oakwood School; Michelle Rakoczy Central School; Cathy Cortez River Valley School; and Jill Dulany Old Quarry Middle School. Members of the planning team attended a Cyber Safety training event hosted by the Learning Technology Center (LTC) and Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) earlier this year. Additionally, several members of the team have been certified in the i-Safe Professional Development Program. i-SAFE is a non-profit foundation dedicated to protecting the online experiences of youth. As certified trainers, they may facilitate i-Safe curriculum and train other staff members to become i-Safe certified.
The Internet safety planning team designed a scope and sequence for instruction and selected lessons that are developmentally appropriate for each grade level. We have implemented several of the lessons already as part of our ongoing safety curriculum plan with the Lemont Police Department School Liaison Officer. Copies of the Internet curriculum plans for all grade levels can be found at the links below. Due to the fluid nature of the Internet, the lessons identified for each grade level may be modified in response to new developments that may compromise the safety of children on the Internet.
The Internet safety planning team has outlined a plan to orient all of the grade level teachers to the Internet safety curriculum. They will provide training and support to teachers so that all of the safety lessons can be successfully implemented with our students beginning with the 2009-2010 school year.
Internet Safety Curriculum
Kindergarten Internet Safety 2009
First Grade Internet Safety 2009
Second Grade Internet Safety 2009
Third Grade Internet Safety 2009
Fourth Grade Internet Safety 2009
Fifth Grade Internet Safety 2009
Sixth Grade Internet Safety 2009
Seventh Grade Internet Safety 2009
Eighth Grade Internet Safety 2009