Jefferson Students Learn More About Internet Safety By Designing Websites

Jefferson Middle School seventh-graders, Colin Melendez and Amelia Larusch, work on their Internet safety websites during Julie Livengood’s Information Technology class. Submitted photo

Jefferson Middle School students in Julie Livengood’s Information Literacy class recently discovered how to develop their own websites using Google Sites by creating individual Internet Safety sites. The students used Google Sites to create the websites and also produced QR codes so that fifth and sixth grade Jefferson students could view them through the iPads they have been given to use during the school day.

As part of Information Literacy class, Mrs. Livengood teaches an Internet Safety unit, including cyberbullying, and is always looking for innovative ways to make it engaging for students by adding new technology. The original plan was to create virtual posters but with the help and advise of Jason Kathman, JPS Technology Integration Specialist, Mrs. Livengood decided creating their own website would be an engaging and “real-world” project. The students used Google Sites so that when the website was “published,” it stays within the JPS network, not the worldwide web, making security and privacy not a concern. In their websites, students covered topics such as: how to make your password safe, identity theft, how to make your website secure, look for the “s” in https//, and how to protect yourself from phishing scams and computer viruses.

“The Internet has drastically changed the way people interact with the world, but no one has provided us with a road map or instructions on how to navigate it,” said Mrs. Livengood. “Technology is changing so quickly that we don’t have time to absorb all its capabilities nor the ramifications of what we do online. It’s critical that students learn about the risks in their digital world and the need for caution when hopping on an electronic device. The flip side of this, however, is students LOVE using the latest technology and the expression on their face when they scanned the code and it opened to their very own website was priceless!”

Jefferson Middle School fifth and sixth grade students currently have their own individual iPads with all fifth, sixth and seventh-graders receiving them next year. Mrs. Livengood thought students would enjoy being able to use the scanning technology of i-Nigma to access the information linked in each QR code and hopefully learn something about Internet Safety, which they didn’t previously know. The primary objective of the Internet Safety unit was for students to be aware of the need for caution when on the internet and how to protect themselves and their personal information. The secondary objective was for them to learn new ways of presenting information, which they can utilize in the future.

“Maybe in the future you might buy things online and you want to be sure you are safe in how you buy things and where your private information goes,” said Jefferson Middle School seventh-grader John Torres. “It’s good we learn about technology because it will be our future and I think it’s good to learn about safety on it because people are very smart and can easily scam you on it.”