Common Sense Media and Edmodo partnered to create this fantastic Digital Citizenship Starter Kit for your classroom. In it, you’ll find a series of activities and lessons designed to introduce digital citizenship concepts right in Edmodo, to help you get your online classroom community up and running.
I read a recent post from Digital Inspiration about using Wolfram Alpha to generate strong passwords, and it just so happened to come at a time when I was teaching my 3-5 graders about the importance of computer security and password creation. For the past couple of years, I’ve shown my students the video Secure Passwords by Common Craft before having them create their own passwords, and there is always a few students who have trouble coming up with a password that works for them. Enter Wolfram Alpha. Students can do a search of “password of 8 letters” and a password will be created with a phonetic form that will make it easier to remember (see below).
If you want to make the password easier or stronger, students can click on “Use Specific Password Rules Instead” and allow special characters so that the password becomes more complex.
This will give you passwords like:
which, admittedly, are not the best passwords for elementary school students, but going through this process is a good practice for students, nonetheless. For those students struggling with creating passwords, they can play around with the password rule allowances, and create an easier password with just lower-case letters and numbers. Delving deeper, within Wolfram Alpha, you can click on any of the passwords that have been generated and find out how long it would take a computer to crack the code. For example, the password nJ$+[pub would take a computer 352.9 years to enumerate (assuming 100,000 passwords/second), therefore, this would be considered a very weak password with a total score of 48. Doing a search for “password of 10 characters,” delivered 3phZaejT7k, which is a strong password, taking a computer 55,456 years to break.
Bullying in school is something that has been around as long as there has been school. This info-graphic shows some staggering statistics about bullying. 77% of students are bullied and the number for cyber-bullying are rapidly approaching this number as well. One thing I’ve noticed is that our image of the quintessential bully is nothing like the picture of the kid in the info-graphic. Especially with cyber-bullying. More and more I’m seeing girls becoming viscously bold in their online bullying tactics and this needs to be addressed at earlier and earlier ages.
My own 5 year old daughter has been bullied on the bus this year by two 5 year old girls. She was able to stop them by first telling her parents, and then standing up to the girls telling them they were hurting her feelings and they need to stop. Here are some other things that kids can do if they are being bullied:
- Speak up against bullying. Say something like, “stop it.”
- Walk away. Act like you do not care, even if you really do.
- Tell an adult you trust. They may have ideas about what you can do.
- Stick together. Staying with a group might help.
Things to remember…
- You are not alone.
- It is not your fault. Nobody should be bullied!
- Talk to someone you trust.
- Do not hurt yourself.
- Do not bully back. Do not bully anyone else.
- Do not let the bully win. Keep doing what you love to do.
Suggestions from stopbullying.gov
Here are 76 rules my 5th grade class came up with this morning for staying safe online. I use Wallwisher as part of a culminating activity to our internet safety unit.
If you’ve never used wallwisher, go there now and sign up for a free account. It’s a great, easy to use tool that can be used in so many ways.
I’ve posted some links that I use in my internet safety units. I’m a firm believer in talking vs. blocking. Kids will inevitably stumble upon inappropriate material at some point. Our job as educators is to give students the skills to know what to do when that happens.
With my third graders I use the Faux Paw the Techno Cat movie which opens up a great discussion about what to say and what to keep private online. The kids really respond to the Looney Toons style animation and music. I then have them type out as many things they know about being safe online. I also use Disney’s Surfswell Island (which keeps moving URLs and of this writing, I cannot locate).
For my fourth and fifth grade classes, I use a combination of Brainpop videos and activities and some youtube videos created by middle school students. I feel the students really think about it more and the message hits home harder when it is delivered by their peers.