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April 6, 2016

10 Digital Safety Commandments For Students

By Christy Crawford
Grades 3–5, 6–8

    It's getting warmer and student behavior becomes more chaotic offline and online. Soon kids will get warnings about the dangers of too much sun, diving into shallow water, or playing with illegal fireworks. But what about the wild, wild web — the place where 21st century kids spend most of their time? This spring, arm students with commandments from the tech room to help them with Internet safety best practices.

    Do your kids remember any of those digital citizenship guidelines you started at the beginning of the year? Do you trust them to wander the web freely? It’s time for a review! Use the commandments below to initiate conversation. Print the commandments and have students glue them on card stock for families to take home for reference all year long.

    "Don't Tag Me, Bro!"

    and Other Commandments From the Tech Room

    I. You are on your favorite new website — you just won an iPad! The site prompts you to fill out a form listing private information. What should you do before you write, send, or upload anything?

    Ask thy legal guardians! Thou shalt not give anyone private information on the web without parental permission. Thy full name, thy mother’s maiden name, thy phone number, thy social security number, thy home address, thy e-mail address, thy parents’ credit card, and thy passwords are sacred stuff! Keep advertisers, identity thieves, and dangerous strangers away.

     

    II. You are chatting away in Kik messenger, and your new cyberspace friend writes, "LOL! I got 2 call u! What's yer #? :)" How do you respond?

    Again, safety 101: Thou shalt not give anyone private information without parental permission.

     

    III. You are still on Kik. Someone sends a text or image that makes you feel uncomfortable, or someone you are chatting with begins cyberbullying. What do you do?

    Thou shalt report inappropriate behavior to the Kik Bot (site moderator)! Thou shalt tell thy parents about initial or repeated instances of digital harassment. 

     

    IV. Two older girls start fighting at the playground. Hair and fists start to fly. Kids scramble for cell phones to record the action and post it on YouTube. How do you respond?

    Thou shalt not become a part of the problem; thou shalt be the solution. Walk away and quietly grab an adult or use your cell to call for help.

     

    V. Your local library is offering a PlayStation 4 to the best neighborhood poet. You happened to find the most amazing Minecraft poem on the web last night. Do you cut and paste the poem into a Word document?

    No. Thou shalt not steal. Plagiarism is a crime!

     

    VI. Your new Snapchat friend asks to meet you at your parents' home when they aren't around. How do you respond?

    Thou shalt not meet anyone thou has just met online without adult permission and supervision.  

     

    VII. Your older brother and his friends take pictures of themselves vandalizing a friend's bike. They post the "hilarious" pictures on their Instagram pages. Uh-oh, isn't that you standing in the background of that picture? How do you respond?

    "Don't tag me, bro!" Thou shalt inform others that thou prefers to control thy digital image. Colleges and employers — lots of people — will search the web for your digital footprint sooner or later.

     

    VIII. Your friend's Xbox Live avatar said something in the chat room that might be considered insensitive. How do you respond?

    Slooooowly — the Internet is forever (or a very long time)! Thou does not want to post something thou will regret later.

     

    IX. Your skin looks jaundiced and your crazy-gaming thumbs are numb. You've been on the couch for almost a week. What should you do?

    Thou shalt go outside once in a while! Turn off thy computer, put down thy smartphone, and take a walk or ride thy bike in the sunshine!  Experts say too much screen time can negatively change the structure and function of your brain!  

     

    X. Thou must pause. Take 2 seconds to STOP and THINK about these 10 digital safety commandments before every text or post. Remind thine friends to do the same.

    Have a happy and safe spring.

    Looking for ways to control offline behavior? Check out my post "Four Simple Ways to Tame Spring Fever."

    Spring into the season with this fun activitiy that celebrates art and the environment. Check out this new printable from Scholastic Printables that gives you step-by-step directions on creating a scratch-art painting. Get the creative juices flowing while you start a conversation about recycling.

    Free for a limited time!

    It's getting warmer and student behavior becomes more chaotic offline and online. Soon kids will get warnings about the dangers of too much sun, diving into shallow water, or playing with illegal fireworks. But what about the wild, wild web — the place where 21st century kids spend most of their time? This spring, arm students with commandments from the tech room to help them with Internet safety best practices.

    Do your kids remember any of those digital citizenship guidelines you started at the beginning of the year? Do you trust them to wander the web freely? It’s time for a review! Use the commandments below to initiate conversation. Print the commandments and have students glue them on card stock for families to take home for reference all year long.

    "Don't Tag Me, Bro!"

    and Other Commandments From the Tech Room

    I. You are on your favorite new website — you just won an iPad! The site prompts you to fill out a form listing private information. What should you do before you write, send, or upload anything?

    Ask thy legal guardians! Thou shalt not give anyone private information on the web without parental permission. Thy full name, thy mother’s maiden name, thy phone number, thy social security number, thy home address, thy e-mail address, thy parents’ credit card, and thy passwords are sacred stuff! Keep advertisers, identity thieves, and dangerous strangers away.

     

    II. You are chatting away in Kik messenger, and your new cyberspace friend writes, "LOL! I got 2 call u! What's yer #? :)" How do you respond?

    Again, safety 101: Thou shalt not give anyone private information without parental permission.

     

    III. You are still on Kik. Someone sends a text or image that makes you feel uncomfortable, or someone you are chatting with begins cyberbullying. What do you do?

    Thou shalt report inappropriate behavior to the Kik Bot (site moderator)! Thou shalt tell thy parents about initial or repeated instances of digital harassment. 

     

    IV. Two older girls start fighting at the playground. Hair and fists start to fly. Kids scramble for cell phones to record the action and post it on YouTube. How do you respond?

    Thou shalt not become a part of the problem; thou shalt be the solution. Walk away and quietly grab an adult or use your cell to call for help.

     

    V. Your local library is offering a PlayStation 4 to the best neighborhood poet. You happened to find the most amazing Minecraft poem on the web last night. Do you cut and paste the poem into a Word document?

    No. Thou shalt not steal. Plagiarism is a crime!

     

    VI. Your new Snapchat friend asks to meet you at your parents' home when they aren't around. How do you respond?

    Thou shalt not meet anyone thou has just met online without adult permission and supervision.  

     

    VII. Your older brother and his friends take pictures of themselves vandalizing a friend's bike. They post the "hilarious" pictures on their Instagram pages. Uh-oh, isn't that you standing in the background of that picture? How do you respond?

    "Don't tag me, bro!" Thou shalt inform others that thou prefers to control thy digital image. Colleges and employers — lots of people — will search the web for your digital footprint sooner or later.

     

    VIII. Your friend's Xbox Live avatar said something in the chat room that might be considered insensitive. How do you respond?

    Slooooowly — the Internet is forever (or a very long time)! Thou does not want to post something thou will regret later.

     

    IX. Your skin looks jaundiced and your crazy-gaming thumbs are numb. You've been on the couch for almost a week. What should you do?

    Thou shalt go outside once in a while! Turn off thy computer, put down thy smartphone, and take a walk or ride thy bike in the sunshine!  Experts say too much screen time can negatively change the structure and function of your brain!  

     

    X. Thou must pause. Take 2 seconds to STOP and THINK about these 10 digital safety commandments before every text or post. Remind thine friends to do the same.

    Have a happy and safe spring.

    Looking for ways to control offline behavior? Check out my post "Four Simple Ways to Tame Spring Fever."

    Spring into the season with this fun activitiy that celebrates art and the environment. Check out this new printable from Scholastic Printables that gives you step-by-step directions on creating a scratch-art painting. Get the creative juices flowing while you start a conversation about recycling.

    Free for a limited time!

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