Students for Responsible
Use of the Internet 
An Open-Circle Webquest

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Make Safe Choices
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Making Your Own Responsible Use Policy for the Internet


Essential Question:

How can we safely use the Internet to find great information?


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"It arrived in the mail yesterday," the facilitator of your Open Circle Discussion Group explains.  "Here, I will read the letter to you:

Dear students and Teachers,

 I am happy to announce that our group, Citizens Against the Internet, will work with members of your community, parents, teachers, and students to ban (prohibit the use of) the Internet at your school.  We feel that  the Internet exposes children to unsafe situations, provides students with inaccurate information from unreliable sites, and confuses students by exposing them to the  wily ways of Advertisers bent on selling their products. We believe that students cannot handle the internet and therefore should not be allowed to use it. You will be hearing from us again, soon!

Bruce Stowe,
President of Citizens Against the Internet


What are your thoughts about this?"


Your friend is picked: "I think that group has some good points.  There was this kid in my old school who went to some page that had these bad words all over it. At first he thought that it was funny, but then he was scared that he would get into trouble.  Luckily, he told the teacher.  She said that he did the right thing by telling her and then she talked to the class about what to do if an accident like this occurred again."

A girl across the circle says, "Sometimes, I have a hard time finding useful information on the Internet.  It seems like I surf for an hour and have no new information.  Other times, the information turns out to be wrong.  Those ridiculous advertisements drive me crazy!  I'm tired of them!"  

You hear the murmur of approval.  

The facilitator says, "So it seems like a lot of people think Citizens Against the Internet have some good points.  Should we ban the Internet from our classroom?"

The boy next to you says, "No way!!! My mom took some time to show me how to use "key words" to search these kid friendly sites like Kids Click, Yahooligans, and Ask Jeeves for Kids.  Now, I can find the information I need in a shorter amount of time.  I can concentrate on learning the information instead of wasting all my time finding it."

"I agree!" the girl on the side says. "I always use  the Internet to find information because my parents work late and by the time they get home the library is closed.  I love using the Internet because I find current information that is spiced up with great graphics.  My dad told me that 10,000,000 kids like me use the Internet everyday."

Your friend says, "I guess you're right. The Internet can be a safe way to get information if we learn how to use it right."

"Yes!"  "I agree."  You hear the murmuring agreement.

The facilitator says, "I'm hearing people say that the Internet can be really helpful if we learn how to make safe choices, choose great sites, and avoid those tricky advertisements. 

Click here if you agree that we need to learn to Use the Internet Responsibly! 


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Your teacher says, "Excellent discussion today!  I think you all some great points. We can learn how to use the Internet to safely find the information that we're looking for. We'll need to do this in several parts."

Part One- Make Safe Choices- Learn to make safe choices while using the Internet!
Part Two- Choose Great SitesLearn strategies  to successfully evaluate web sites!
Part Three- Recognize and Avoid Advertiser's Sales Tactics- Become a smart surfer by learning tips to avoid being tricked into buying by those savvy Internet advertisers.
Part Four- Make Your Own Responsible Use Policy for the Internet-
Apply what we have learned to make our own Responsible Use Policy for the Internet.


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  1. Make Safe Choices
As the number of kids (like us) using the Internet continues to grow, so do the concerns about our safety. We (teachers, parents, and kids) must work together to develop and agree upon methods to keep us safe. Although each situation is unique, there are several proven safety methods that we can learn in this mission.

Click on Make Safe Choices to proceed.

    2.   Choose Great Sites

Consider the huge amount of information that is available online. Now, think about how many of those sites have been posted to the Internet with very little editing.  This means that Internet sites can contain information that is wrong or is misleading. We must learn how to evaluate a web page to pick out the best ones and weed out the worst.  

Click here go to Choose Great Sites where we can gain the skills we will need to choose the very best sites.


     3.   Recognize Advertiser's Tactics

The Internet has become irresistible tool for many advertisers that are looking for ways to capture the money that kids like us spend.   In 1999, companies spent $2 billion dollars on advertising to convince kids like us to buy their product. Why are companies spending so much to market their product to kids?  The answer is simple; kids (like us) are spending a ton of money!!!  

You can learn how to be a smart Internet user in this mission:  Recognize Advertiser's Tactics.


    4.    Make Your Own Responsible Use Policy for the Internet

Believe it or not, there are many people out there who want our experience on the Internet to be a safe and productive one. Our parents and teachers want us to be safe and to succeed. Our fellow students want us to be safe and to succeed. 

Join us to Make Your Own Responsible Use Policy for the Internet to help our class have a safe and productive experience on the Internet.


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HomeEssential Questions  |  Stay on Task |  Responsible Use Books (+)
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Make Safe Choices
| Choose Great Sites | Recognize Advertiser's Tactics
Making Your Own Responsible Use Policy for the Internet


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Created: July 24, 2000
Last Updated: April 9, 2004