Safer Searching on the Internet

Online safety for kids is a top concern at school and at home. In school, we have internet filters, but no filters are perfect, especially when it comes to images and videos. Students should be monitored closely when using the internet. The best way to make sure they do not come across inappropriate content is to have them use our selection of online resources, many of which are paid databases.TheScreen Shot 2016-02-22 at 10.14.48 AMse include online encyclopedias, instructional videos, and many other resources for both our youngest and oldest users. Each school has a site to get to all of our online resources. At the elementary schools and at HMS, these are linked to our library catalog page. (For example, here is Prospect’s page). At CHMS, these can be found from Mrs. Duffy’s LibGuide. At the elementary schools, this page has a bookmark on student machines – get to it from the globe icon right next to the trashcan in the dock. Ask your MRC director if you need any help accessing this site at your school.

If you have a specific topic you would like your students to study and would like additional information besides the paid resources, rather than setting them loose on the internet, we recommend creating a guided resource for them with links to sites you have chosen. One example of this is a LibGuide. Your MRC Director can help you set one up. Here is an example of a LibGuide about the Civil War, used at Elm School. You could also add links of pages you would like students to access on your teacher website created on GoogleSites or another site builder.

Finally, if you want students to be able to reach more than what you select for them, we recommend using a filtered or guided search. (Still keep in mind that no filtered or safe search is perfect! And, filtered does not necessarily mean it is a quality source of information). District 181 pays for the resource NetTrekker, which contains 360,000 educator-curated resources. Students will need to select their school name to get started. If you are having trouble with NetTrekker in Safari, use the Chrome or Firefox browser. Other “safer search” sites I like include http://www.kidsclick.org/, which only includes sites that have been specifically added by educators, and http://www.kidrex.org/, which searches Google with additional filters. KidsClick is more restricted than KidRex.

For tips about safer alternatives to Google Image searches, see this post on Britannica Image Quest and this one on Images for Class.

 

 

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