from Educators' eZine
Almost one of every four nursery school children is learning a skill that even some adults have yet to master: using the Internet. Some 23 percent of children in nursery school - kids age 3, 4 or 5 - have gone online, according to the Education Department. By kindergarten, 32 percent have used the Internet, typically under adult supervision (eSchool News, 2005).
But with so many sites on the Web, it can be difficult to know where students should and should not go, considering the entire nerve-racking array of problems: pop-up windows, viruses, and exposure to inappropriate material. This article provides a list of safety rules and a list of early elementary or preschool websites that will not only teach a child but also entertain.
Kids' Rules for Online Safety
- I will not give out personal information such as my address, telephone number, parents' work address/telephone number, or the name and location of my school without my parents' permission.
- I will tell my parents right away if I come across any information that makes me feel uncomfortable.
- I will never agree to get together with someone I "meet" online without first checking with my parents. If my parents agree to the meeting, I will be sure that it is in a public place and bring my mother or father along.
- I will never send a person my picture or anything else without first checking with my parents.
- I will not respond to any messages that are mean or in any way make me feel uncomfortable
- I will talk with my parents so that we can set up rules for going online. We will decide upon the time of day that I can be online, the length of time I can be online and appropriate areas for me to visit. I will not access other areas or break these rules without their permission.
- I will not give out my Internet password to anyone (even to my best friends) other than my parents.
- I will check with my parents before downloading or installing software or doing anything that could possibly hurt our computer or jeopardize my family's privacy
- I will be a good online citizen and not do anything that hurts other people or is against the law.
- I will help my parents understand how to have fun and learn things online and teach them things about the Internet, computers and other technology.
Websites to Edutain* Your Student or Child
*Defintion :a television program, movie, book, etc., that is both educational and entertaining, esp. one intended primarily for children in the elementary grades.
Created to help parents and teachers strengthen the learning and playing skills of young children, Chateau Meddybemps explains how children learn, how to help develop a variety of skills, and how to make learning enjoyable for children. With its colorful images, games, and stories, children will find learning fun at this site!
Primarily designed for pre-kindergarten through second grade and approved by CyberSitter, Starfall contains resources for parents and teachers to help children with letter sounds and learning to read. This site is one of the best resources for early childhood education.
Developed for toddlers, Lil' Fingers is a computer storybook, game, activity and coloring site. This wonderful site has color animations, stories, and activities to keep young children edutained for hours.
With an option for English and Spanish, Storyplace provides a library for preschoolers and for elementary students too. Storyplace has online stories, online activities, take-home activities, and reading lists to supplement the learning activities. Note: You will need to have the Free plug-in: Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the Take Home Activities and Parent Activites.
KidsCom Jr. is a safe, educational and entertaining electronic playground for children ages 3 to 7. The site's mission is to provide young children and their parents with an opportunity to engage in educational games and activities.
At this site sponsored by Magination Press, Oochy, a fun loving round shaped character, helps children ages 1 to 5 to learn important skills, such as relational and cognitive skills. Oochy has a number of activities, such as his Cube Adventure and his Eduora's Maze, for children to be edutained.
Preschoolers can learn about science from Peep the baby chick and friends - characters seen on The Learning Channel and Discovery's Kids channel (Sponsored by WGBH Educational Foundation).
This site sponsored by UpToTen provides fun games, coloring sheets, animated stories and more for children ages 1 to 10.
For $19.95 for a household subscription or $24.95 for a classroom subscription, this website provide books with animated stories put to song. With nearly 200 animated storybooks, 25-plus animated story songs, 20 original sing-along songs, and a number of new books and songs added each month, Mightybooks can help all levels readers in an educational and entertaining way.
eSchool News, (2005, June, 7). More preschoolers going online. eSchool News Online, Retrieved September 02, 2006.
Lexico Publishing Group, LLC, (2006). edutainment - Definitions from Dictionary.com. Retrieved August 25, 2006.
Magid, Larry (2005). Child Safety on the Information Highway. Retrieved August 25, 2006.