October 2019 marks the third annual Keeping Kids Safe Online Month in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, in partnership with the Department of Justice (DOJ), created a website with numerous resources from a number of organizations and experts about online safety to assist with the month-long awareness campaign. We utilize October to highlight the need for safe and responsible use of digital tools and resources for schools, communities, and families.
The focus for October 2019 is on the importance of involving parents in creating awareness about healthy online behaviors. It is crucial for schools and families to talk about and model safe and healthy online practices. To help with this, the Wisconsin DPI and the Wisconsin DOJ have created an online, interactive e-course called Interact for parents and guardians and their children to work together to complete.
This e-course takes an interactive approach to open up discussions about online safety in the home through watching videos, navigating online scenarios, and completing a family media plan. Interact provides the opportunity for parents and guardians to set themselves up as a trusted adult in the child’s life.
Throughout the month of October, we will highlight many resources that help integrate safe and healthy online practices in the classroom and in the home. We continue to make connections with social and emotional learning and the ability to understand how decisions affect others, especially when using online tools and platforms.
The DPI Internet Safety page targets all stakeholders and provides several resources and tools to help families and schools support the safe and responsible use and consumption of digital resources. DPI will continue to expand the website to include district exemplary programming, sample policies, and resources for 1:1 implementation.
We focus on the importance of protecting personal information and ensuring the creation and maintenance of a healthy Digital Footprint/Tattoo as well.
Finally, there is a lesson planning matrix outlining the themes for each week of Keeping Kids Safe Online in October that breaks down the resources into more manageable pieces for discussion and integration.
With such a crucial topic in our ‘always-on’ society, the discussions and modeling shouldn’t stop in October. The lesson matrix can also be leveraged throughout the year by utilizing the weekly topics as monthly topics for integration into lesson plans.
Stay connected and learn more about Digital Learning and Online Safety:
- Wisconsin Digital Learning Plan
- Internet Safety, Digital Citizenship, and Cyber Safety Twitter: https://twitter.com/WisDPIDigCit
- Department of Justice (click ICAC at bottom of page)
Chad Kliefoth, digital learning consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Follow @WisDPIDigCit and tweet using #WIdigcit.
Janice Mertes, assistant director of Teaching and Learning/Digital Learning, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Follow @WisDPITech.