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Never Too Early to Teach Internet Safety for Kids

March 31, 2012 at 4:55 PM

uKnowKids ipadYesterday my kindergartener came home and told me how much fun she had using the iPad at school. Their teacher taught them how to use an app that helped them draw letters in the proper sequence with their fingers. 

Lots of school districts are using iPads, Twitter, or Skype in the classroom. It's a bit of a debate, but I generally agree with integrating new technologies into education. Facebook and iPads are great mediums for educators to use to connect with their students, because these tools are inevitably going to be – and sometimes already are – an integral part of these kids' lives. Googling is a skill I think needs to be learned along with looking things up in a dictionary or encyclopedia.
The age of online literacy is getting younger and younger. A friend of mine just bought his 4-year-old an iPad packed with educational apps teaching everything from sight words to the solar system, just so he could “keep up.”

With such early exposure to technology, it's that much more important to start teaching Internet safety at an even earlier age. Kids may be comfortable with the technology and know how to use it, but that doesn't mean they can always think critically about their online actions and make good decisions about using the Internet socially.

The fact that our kids are so tech-savvy at a young age can fool us: it's kind of like the tendency to treat a child who is very big and tall for his age as older than he really is. Have you had the Internet safety conversation with your kids yet? 

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Tim Woda

Written by Tim Woda

Tim Woda is an Internet safety expert, and a passionate advocate for empowering families and protecting children from today’s scariest digital dangers. Woda was on the founding team of buySAFE, an Internet trust and safety company, and he started working on child safety issues after his son was targeted by a child predator online. While his son was unharmed, the incident led Woda to kick-start uKnow.com. You can follow Tim on Twitter or on his blog.

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