Category Archives: Internet Safety

ABCYa! – Updated

Last year, I blogged about the fantastic ABCYa! website.  As the site has now been updated, I wanted to not only highlight the update, but another reason that it is a fantastic, safe resource to use in the classroom.

Recently I have been working with a number of classes from prep to year 7, and have noticed that many teachers are now starting to incorporate tools such as Wordle into their classroom.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Wordle …… but, on further use and investigation,  I have seen dangers of using it in the classroom!

 

 

As the gallery of images is updated regularly, there is no way of filtering the information that will appear – not a great function when using it in a classroom!  Whilst a high percentage of the time, the content will be appropriate – you still don’t want to have to explain that ‘one time’ a student saw something inappropriate to parents or your administration team!  Wordle have addressed this issue on their website:

The Wordle front page will never feature images or links that are inappropriate for classroom use. Therefore, it’s possible to configure an institution’s “site-blocking” software to keep Wordle safe for classroom use.

Simply have your networking administrator block the following base URLs:

and your users will not be inadvertently shown anything that’s not safe for classrooms.If your filtering software only blocks per domain, then you’re out of luck. It’s either no Wordle at all for your school, or Wordle avec des gros mots.

As Wordle recognise, this may not be a ‘fix’ for all schools.  If your school falls into that category (or you are waiting for the filters to be put in place), then you should visit ABCYa! word clouds.

This safe and easy to use Word Cloud tool is fantastic to use with students of all ages.

 

ABCya.com word clouds for kids! A word cloud is a graphical representation of word frequency. Type or paste text into the box … and press the arrow button to view the word cloud generated. The appearance of a word cloud can be altered using the graphical buttons above the cloud. It is also easy to save and/or print the cloud by simply pressing a button.

The tool is very user-friendly, and even comes with instructions for a very common ‘word cloud’ issue of keeping words together. 😉

Students enter their words into the box, and then click on the arrow.

The next interface in the sequence is extremely easy to use, and allows the students to manipulate their word cloud.

 

When the students click on ‘save’, the word cloud defaults to a JPEG image.

I love that students can change the colour to black and white for ease of printing on the school printer, but would also like to see colours on a white background too.

Overall, this site is quick and easy to use with no chance of students viewing inappropriate content.  The other great thing is that you can safely recommend it for use at home (where your school filters are obviously not in place!) and be sure that all content viewed by your students is appropriate!

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BUDD:E E-Security Education Package

The Budd:e E-Security Education Package is part of the broader Government e-security initiative aimed at creating a safer online environment for all Australian children. Budd:e examines the risks people take online everyday and the possible consequences. Budd:e also educates the user about the technical and behavioural measures to adopt to help reduce risk and improve online security; security for people, for internet enabled-devices and for personal data. 

The Budd:e E-Security Education Package consists of two activity-based learning modules, one for primary and one for secondary school students. Both modules contain engaging, media rich activities and resources developed in consultation with teachers and subject matter experts. 

 

The Budd:e modules are both easy to use, and visually appealing for users both young and old.  In the primary section, students are presented with a series of questions to work through.  As they successfully answer the questions, they unlock parts of their robot.  Great fun for an interactive whiteboard, virtual classroom or even to work through with the family at home. 

What I like about Budd:E site is that it touches on more areas of internet safety and awareness than some other programs I have used.  The focus is e-security.  Some areas Budd:E covers are: 

  • using a firewall, scanning for viruses, checking for security updates 

  • sharing public and private information 

  • protecting you ID online 

  • passwords (weak vs strong) 

  • virus protection 

  • how to spot junk or scam emails 

  • issues surrounding ownership (ie. file sharing online) 

  • e-security clues (ie.  https://

There is a teacher resource section that outlines what is included in the modules as well.  

Overall, Budd:E is a fantastic, interactive, site provided by the Australian Government – and is well worth a look! 🙂