Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Privacy Playground, Cyber Sense, and Nonsense and the Net Generation

I found the instructions and interactive games from the web awareness links, “The Net Generation” and “Cyber Pigs”, respectively, to be innovative and informative and they should be used as lessons for media awareness for all, regardless of age. The format that these two sites bring to both students and teachers is very interesting and refreshing. “The Net Generation”, entitled The Growing with the Net: A developmental approach to children’s Internet Use (Ages 4-12), takes on the form of a workshop series and Cyber Pigs adventures called, “Privacy Playground: The First Adventure of The Three Pigs and Cyber Sense and Nonsense: The Second Adventure of The Three Cyber Pigs takes the form of an interactive game reminiscent of the fairy tale story, The Three Little Pigs.

I notice that sometimes teachers usually feel the need to teach technology as a processing tool, but we forget that a computer is more than programs on the OS. With a stroke of a finger, we can access the world through the internet. Therefore, it’s not enough to just teach technology, it is important to remember to instill critical thinking skills in order to use the internet wisely, to authenticate online information and to know what is and isn’t acceptable. Knowing the purpose of a site of whether it is there to inform, to sell or to persuade is an important skill to have.

The above sites teach children the skills to bring critical thinking and problem solving to any text that they read and the lessons are brought to them in an interactive format that would keep them interested. I know that the majority of my students are on the internet for various purposes, and it is important that they are taught the skills on being safe and wise internet surfers. Empowering a student to be safe while having fun is important and “Cyber safety adventures 1 and 2” do just this; students’ and teachers’ interest will definitely be captured with Cyber Pigs’ interactive game.

Although “The Net Generation” is information based, it is very informative. As you read, you will come across in this presentation a webography which is a useful tool for teachers and parents that are looking for some web resources to help them stay informed.

Linking into the sites under the Cyber Safety web page is definitely worthwhile.


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