As students begin the exciting journey of collaboration,
the overall goal and objective should be curriculum oriented and
should not be a personal information exchange. Collaborative project
based activities should be for the purpose of gathering and exchanging
information that will enhance the student's understanding of curriculum
being taught in the classroom.
Students should practice two important life skills when collaborating
online. These two lessons should be reviewed whenever students
are using Internet resources:
- safe communication -- be sure not to reveal personal
- information assessment -- critically evaluate whether
or not the shared information is relevant to the content being
1. Teach Students Rules for Internet Safety
If you allow your students to create their own rules for
online safety, their understanding for why these rules are
important will become more internalized and make more sense
to them. Here is a simple lesson plan for teaching students
||Introduce the Lesson
- Explain to the students that they will be creating
a classroom list of rules for using the Internet safely.
- As a group, brainstorm and record what they already
know about safe behavior. When a student shares, be
sure to have them explain why this is an important practice.
||Research Additional Rules
This next step should be done as a
cooperative learning activity. Depending on the age
of the students, divide your older, intermediate age students
into groups of 3-5 and keep the younger, primary elementary
students as a whole group.
Have your students research and record additional
safety rules they should practice using any of the following
- ALL AGES
Created by Disney, this website offers a fun, interactive,
but powerful message for online safety.
Rules for Online Safety
- ALL AGES
This simple list is a great resource that quickly
identifies basic safety practices.
Notebook: Safety on the Internet
- OLDER STUDENTS
Published by Oklahoma University Police Department,
this website offers numerous links to helpful information
regarding safety on the Internet.
- OLDER STUDENTS
In an effort to put parents in the catbird seat,
the Federal Trade Commission has established new
rules for website operators to make sure that kids'
privacy is protected while they're online. These
rules are part of the 1998 Children's Online Privacy
Protection Act (COPPA).
Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
- OLDER STUDENTS
Read the law concerning online safety for children
under 13 years of age.
||Revise List of Classroom
|Have your students report to the whole group
additional practices they should include. Revise and consolidate
the classroom rules into an "easy to read" list.
||Evaluate Student Knowledge
This can be done in a number of ways.
Have students brainstorm with you the many ways that their
knowledge and practice of online safety can be measured.
Some suggestions include:
- Each group creates a poster that displays the classroom
rules (display these posters in a prominent place
in your room)
- Use a checklist to monitor and record whether or
not each student is practicing these rules
Additional Resource Links to Explore
Ethical, and Human Issues
- This page offers additional resource links that you can
explore including 1998 Children's Online Privacy Protection
Safely on the Internet
- This is a lesson plan for a summer school project that involved
teaching students what the Internet is and how to use it safely.
2. Teach Students How to Critically Evaluate
As students gather, record, and share information,
they need to critically evaluate whether or not the information
they are gathering is relevant to their topic and if the
information is credible.
||Assessing the Relevancy of
- Is this information relevant to their topic?
- Is this the best resource available for their topic?
- Does it meet the criteria for sharing information if
it is part of a collaborative project?
||Assessing the Credibility
"I found it on the 'net so it must
be true!" is a statement voiced by many students.
The two areas that students must focus on in order to assess
the credibility of the information are whether or not the
information was developed by a credible source and if the
content is valid.
Visit these 2 sources which will offer additional
tips for assessing the credibility of the source and whether
or not the content is valid and unbiased:
- Discover tips for determining the validity of content
and whether the information is published by a credible
- This tutorial offers tips for constructing searches
on the Internet and suggested engines to use.