Internet Safety: Games and Rules for Elementary Students

Instructor: Laura Gray

Laura has taught at the secondary and tertiary levels for 20+ years and has a Ph.D. in Instructional Design for Online Learning.

This lesson discusses just how far-reaching the Internet is, the assumptions that online predators make, and offers safety tips for elementary-aged kids. In addition, interactive games that teach safety are discussed.

It's a Big World Out There!

It is mind-boggling to try to think about how big and far-reaching the Internet really is. Just about anything you would ever want to know can be found at the touch of a few buttons. Unfortunately, most kids don't think about this, and many don't know what to do to protect themselves from predators when they go online. People who prey on unsuspecting children (predators) know this, too, and they rely on parents and teachers not properly instructing students about online safety. Below I will discuss some tips that you can tell your elementary-aged students so they can be as protected as possible online.

Rules to Live By

1. Kids need to know that they should never, EVER offer personal information online. If they need to make a purchase that requires the giving out of personal information, they should have a parent or responsible adult do it for them. Otherwise, there is never a reason to give out their last name, address, age, phone number, or any other similar information.

2. Students should always stay out of chat rooms. Predators love to hang out in chat rooms because they figure that they can find kids in there who don't know what the basic Internet safety rules are. There is never a good reason to be in a chat room, and if someone a child doesn't know Instant Messages them and asks for information, it is best to just ignore them and tell a parent right away.

3. When surfing different sites, you can let your kids know that it is perfectly okay for them to not use their real names. And that stranger danger still applies. A good rule of thumb to tell your students is if they don't know a person in 'real life,' they should not be friends with that person online!

4. If someone starts harassing a child or repeatedly asks him or her questions, the child should tell an adult immediately. This one is really important for students. Internet harassment is a serious issue, and in many places, it is a crime. There is no reason that anyone, whether a child knows them or not, should harass a student online.

Games that Promote Internet Safety

In addition to knowing and following the basic rules for Internet safety, many websites offer interactive games for kids to help teach them all about staying safe online. For example:

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