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Internet safety education program

I-Safe : 29 December, 2008  (New Product)
School program on internet safety offered to American education system by I-SAFE
Recent news reports have exposed the damaging effects resulting from cyber bullying. A national newsmagazine's cover story asks if it's possible to protect kids from pervasive cyber porn. The social-networking phenomenon and the perceived anonymity of Internet communications cries out for instruction in basic cyber citizenship and civility. Cyber viruses attack electronic hardware and software upon which individuals, households, businesses, and governments depend. Spam inundates commerce and stifles productivity. Pervasive infringements of valuable intellectual property are robbing commercial enterprises and stifling creativity. Identities are stolen and bank accounts are fraudulently drained and credit card limits maxed out.

Fortunately, President-elect Barack Obama, the most tech-savvy chief executive in American history, has indicated he'll be supportive of cyber safety initiatives. Also, "In the Senate, Daniel Inouye is a true thought leader," says i-SAFE CEO Teri Schroeder, referring to Sen. Inouye's sponsorship of the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, which calls upon schools receiving E-Rate funding to teach cyber citizenship, including social networking and cyber bullying. "Sen. Inouye has done a great service for America's youth," Ms. Schroeder said, and "when this Act takes effect, i-SAFE recommends the following criteria for Internet safety curriculum for K-12 students. The curriculum must be:

1. Comprehensive - inclusive of all the positive and negative implications of Internet use and in keeping with current teaching and learning theories

2. Aligned with national educational technology standards (NETS) and the educational standards of each state

3. Devoid of stranger-danger orientation/motivation and fully embrace Web 2.0 technologies by including a large selection of lessons and activities that promote and enable online interactions while creating conceptual understanding of the need to engage Web 2.0 applications with e-citizenship, personal safety and cyber security as a priority

4. Deliverable in a variety of media formats - paper/hard copy, digital CD/DVD, and online download or streaming

5. Complete with related reference materials and activities

6. Accompanied by a means to assess, monitor and statistically report on a real-time basis the effectiveness of Internet safety education curriculum adopted by schools/districts, including statistical data on students' online attitudes and behaviors both before and after completing the lessons, changes and trends in such student online attitudes and behaviors, and a comparison of such statistical data with similar data on students across a given state and throughout the United States

A newly released report, Making Wise Choices Online, by the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), pointed out the need for this kind of Internet safety education. The report states, "[w]hat is needed, in addition to age appropriate filtering or monitoring tools, is a far-reaching and relevant online safety education for kids and teens and relevant safety tips for parents and teachers. In other words, we need tools and rules in our homes and in our schools to help our kids develop a habit of responsible and safe use of the Internet."

i-SAFE offers to deploy its Internet safety program to all K-12 schools in the US. It is the approach and solution the FOSI-sponsored report calls for. "Since its inception, the US Congress has invested $13 million dollars for i-SAFE to create and deliver the gold standard of Internet safety education programs," says Ms. Schroeder. "We have developed proactive and positive lessons now being taught in thousands of schools that parents and teachers count on to empower students to be safe and responsible online." i-SAFE lessons have educated 7 million students in all 50 states to date, focused to reach 10 million students by the end of this academic year. "President-elect Obama can count on i-SAFE to be the gold standard, and expect even greater success through continued funding of i-SAFE."
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