PCS students to learn Internet safety

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Students within the Pike County School system will soon learn how to be safe while using the Internet.

As part of 2008 legislation, the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, schools are required to teach Internet safety.

PCS Technology Coordinator Stephanie Snyder said she is going to each school beginning Nov. 9 to kick off the program, which she said is required because the system receives E-Rate funds for Internet service, access or internal connections.

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She said the new program should be in full swing by January.

Snyder said there are several other free Internet safety curricula, but she found this program through iSafe, which is the leader in Internet safety education and is a non-profit foundation.

“They have been doing this since 1988. Their whole mission is to educate and empower youth to make their Internet experiences safe and responsible,” Snyder said. “The goal is to education students on how to avoid dangerous, inappropriate or unlawful online behavior.”

Snyder said it’s important for children to get this kind of education because adults use the Internet for different reasons than children.

“As adults, we do things differently than kids,” Snyder said. “We use it for work or to pay bills online, where when kids get on they are playing games, chatting and (using) social networking (sites). It’s hard to understand all the time what kids are doing.”

According to Snyder, the program is geared toward teaching students what types of Web sites not to visit and what to do if they come in contact with an unsuitable site.

“We have to teach them how not to go to pornography, gambling and hate sites,” Snyder said. “If they do accidentally go to a wrong site, it encourages them to tell a teacher or parent.”

Snyder said the curriculum has something teachers can use for K-12, but the higher the grade level the more curricula there are to choose. Another reason Snyder said she chose the iSafe brand was so she could get reports.

“I can get reports at the end of the year, and we can prove that the students have done this,” Snyder said.

There are tests students can take before and after the classes to gauge just how much they have learned.