i-SAFE’s new digital instructional content brings exciting potential to enhance the learning outcomes in e-Safety education. Kimberly Bergquist Cales, i-SAFE Director of Curriculum, recently visited a local elementary school to implement the new digital instructional programming in a first grade classroom. The program features multimedia content accompanied by printable resources.
Cales explains that “multimedia has the potential to enhance instruction by presenting content in auditory and visual modalities. These different modalities address a variety of learning styles. Additionally, the combination of graphics, animations, audio, and words present multiple streams of information simultaneously to the learner. Interactive content takes this potential one step further—the manipulation of objects on the screen allows students connect with the content on a deeper level. Students use these multi-sensory inputs to construct new knowledge. When effectively implemented, digital instructional content can significantly enhance learning outcomes.”
During the site visit, Cales delivered the E-Rate lesson, "Text Message Etiquette with Dot & i", in a traditional classroom setting. The delivery of the lesson incorporates the use of digital content in combination with face-to-face instruction. For students, the goal is to identify the text messages that do not follow rules of etiquette, and to indicate what constitutes a polite text message. The lesson began with Cales exhibiting a mobile device. The familiar object sparked a discussion with the students about the types of technologies that they use at home and school, and the ways that people use mobile technology to communicate. Following the class discussion, Cales projected the digital story "Text Message Etiquette with Dot & i" on a large screen in full view of the class. The allure of the screen immediately captured the learners’ attention.
Dialogue between the two characters presents the topic of mobile phone etiquette in a manner that resonates with a young audience. In the story, Dot, the voice of wisdom, shares four basic rules of text message etiquette with his curious and exuberant friend i. Dot & i emphasize the importance of mindfully communicating with cell phone contacts. “My new phone is a fun toy,” exclaims i. “A mobile phone is a big responsibility,” replies Dot. The youthful voices of the Dot & i characters reflect the age group of the audience.
The students were captivated. After the story, the voice of the narrator prompts the students to articulate their learning with a nearby classmate. Students were responsive, turning to one another to share the central lesson in the story. Then, Cales distributed a worksheet to measure learning outcomes. Students were to determine whether a text message adhered to the four rules of text message etiquette. The lesson concluded with a review of the four rules and an invitation to students to give some examples and non-examples. Students explained the reasons for their choices thus demonstrating their learning. The hosting teacher remarked that the lesson content is written in such a way that the students of all ability levels are able to grasp the content. Moreover, the students enjoyed the learning process.
Digital media has the power to engage the attention of the learner. Effective design and implementation of instructional content maintains the learner’s focus and attention. “Effective instructional content is that which is free from distractions and irrelevant information,” notes Cales, “Evidence of student learning will emerge in class discussions and tasks associated with the lesson. While technology is appealing, the purpose is not solely to entertain. Educators can harness student interest in technology to achieve a goal, and that goal is to educate and empower students to make safe, ethical and responsible decisions. Students are empowered when they have learned how to apply e-Safety lessons to their everyday lives.”
The digital story “Text Message Etiquette with Dot & i,” and supporting materials are available with an E-Rate subscription to i-SAFE.
Use i-SAFE Digital Learning in Your Classroom
Through i-SAFE curriculum, students are educated and equipped to protect their personal safety online by being able to:
- identify suspicious online behavior
- recognize grooming tactics
- prevent their exploitation
- seek the support of trustworthy adults
- report incidents to law enforcement
i-SAFE digital learning is available by subscription:
- The E-Rate Compliance package delivers 132 K-12 age appropriate lessons and activities for CIPA/E-Rate required topics: Appropriate Online Behavior, Social Networking and Cyber Bullying. These lessons enable students to develop an awareness of cyber risks, an understanding of how to communicate safely online, and how to report incidents if ever confronted with an unsafe situation online.
- The Gold Compliance package delivers an additional 250 lessons covering an array of topics including cell phone safety, identity theft and sharing vs stealing IP.
- All i-SAFE digital learning programs include teacher friendly tools enabling quick access and selection of content, and constant monitoring of student progress.
- All i-SAFE programs include centralized reporting, by school and teacher, enabling district wide implementation of E-Rate program requirements.