Why the Internet is like the Mall

Taken from the following blog….



Today,  in anticipation of the Global Read Aloud Project, I started  my first lesson on internet safety.  And yes, students have been taught
about internet safety before by my fabulous technology teacher, yet I wanted to cover all bases one more time.  So last night, when I was
pondering my lesson, it came to me: compare the internet to the mall.

Today, I therefore told the students that going on the internet is like going to the mall without your parents’ supervision.  So what would they do to stay safe at the mall?  Some of the students answers were that they would not talk to strangers, give anyone their information, and they would also go straight to the place they were supposed to go without stopping at other stores.  Those lessons can be applied directly to the internet and the students got it!  I had so many light bulbs go off, I could barely contain myself.

By having the students provide the safety rules, taken from their own memory of rules drilled into their heads by their formidable parents, they connected real life danger with things that can happen on the internet.  Sometimes students think they are safe on the net, as we all know, and this brought the responsibility home for them.  So as we continue learning proper safety and etiquette, we will keep referring back to the mall analogy, for example, would you walk up to a friend and tell them their outfit was ugly when talking about how to comment?  Today was one of those moments where I was able to make students understand something they have to learn in this day and age.  A lesson not just meant for 4th graders or 5th graders but hopefully something they will keep in the back of their minds when they go on the internet themselves, or maybe even next time they go to the mall.  Once again today I realized how huge my responsibility is for these kids and how glad I am to be their teacher.  We are now one step closer to the global connections!


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