The Internet Rules! – keeping kids safe online

No need to panic.

Hi, kids! I’m glad you’re here. I love hearing from you. But, before we start a conversation (con-ver-sa-tion), we should set some rules for talking with each other on the internet (in-ter-net). Not only are these the rules for contacting (con-tac-ting) me, it is a good idea to use them any time you use the internet (in-ter-net).

She gets computer time because she follows the rules.

RULE 1: If you post to my Facebook page, “name-check” an adult you know and trust.

To name-check someone, just type their name as part of your post. Facebook will send them a notification (no-ti-fi-ca-tion) that someone used their name. Then, they can go to the post to see who you are talking to and what was said. It’s a good idea to include (in-clude) an adult in any internet (in-ter-net) conversation (con-ver-sa-tion), so they can help keep you safe.


RULE 2: CC an adult you know and trust in emails.          

This is how we swiped our credit cards in the olden days.

The phrase CC is from the olden days, even before I was your age. It stands for carbon (car-bon) copy.

Before we did everything on the internet (in-ter-net), people used paper records. To make copies, they would put carbon paper under their letters. When they pressed their pen really hard, the carbon would make marks on paper underneath (un-der-neath) and create a copy.

We don’t use carbon paper much anymore, but we still use the initials CC when we give people a copy of a message. So, if you email me, you should CC an adult by putting their email address (add-ress) in the space at the top of your email that says CC. Then, they will get a copy of the email you send to me.


This is what a group message looks like.

RULE 3:  If you send me a message (mess-age) on Facebook, include an adult you know and trust.

You can add a parent, your teacher, your school, or any other adult, as long as they have to have their own Facebook account (a-ccount). That way, they will be part of the message too.


Writing contests is an example of game-based learning. as a Teaching Tool:

I don’t want to be a well known author.  Instead, I want to be an author who knows his audience (au-di-ence) well.  I want to break down barriers (ba-rri-ers) between author and audience (au-di-ence). This is possible (poss-i-ble) with the internet.  If your kiddos send me a message (mess-age), they will get a response (re-sponse).  Guaranteed (guar-an-teed)!  My hope is that if kids develop (de-vel-op) a personal (per-son-al) connection (con-nec-tion) to a writer they will  (de-vel-op) a personal (per-son-al) connection (con-nec-tion) to writing.

Her letters today. A legal brief tomorrow.

If knowledge (know-ledge) is power, then writing is empowerment (em-pow-er-ment).  Soon, my website will have interactive (in-ter-act-ive) writing contests (con-tests), complete (com-ple-te) with lesson plans.  Kids will even be able to print out their work to take home.  It will be an easy tool for teachers and a fun activity (ac-tiv-ity) for kids.

But we have to start safe.  I would like my website to be a place where teachers can put (di-gi-tal) citizenship (cit-i-zen-ship) into practice (prac-tice).

Parents and guardians (guar-di-ans), you can help keep the young people in your life safe with the resources available through Common Sense Media.

If you are a teacher looking to teach digital (di-gi-tal) citizenship (cit-i-zen-ship) to your kids, check out these resources and lesson plans from Common Sense Media, which is a great resource for teachers and parents alike.


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