CyberSmart! Launched At Houston Elementary School

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 31, 2002--

Innovative Internet Program That Teaches Safety, Cyber-ethics and Effective Use To Be Offered Free of Charge To Schools

To encourage the use of the Internet as a learning resource and to ensure the security of children in cyberspace, The CyberSmart School Program and McGraw-Hill Education launched "CyberSmart!" today at Briargrove Elementary School in Houston.

CyberSmart! is currently the only curriculum that teaches students how to use the Internet safely, responsibly and effectively. Beginning next month, CyberSmart! will be offered free of charge to educators and students throughout the Houston Independent School District and across the country.

"CyberSmart! is the first Internet education program of its kind," said Roger Rogalin, president of Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, the elementary division of McGraw-Hill Education and co-publisher of CyberSmart! "As the only American-owned textbook publishing company, McGraw-Hill Education is committed to helping ensure the security of American students on the Internet. We are excited to be able to offer the CyberSmart! curriculum to schools at no charge. We believe this will help instill young students with a sense of excitement about the Internet and also empower children to use technology effectively and responsibly."

Developed by professional educators, curriculum experts and Internet industry innovators, CyberSmart! offers teachers and students a comprehensive approach to Internet education. Correlated with the National Educational Technology Standards, the CyberSmart! curriculum consists of 65 standards-based lesson plans organized in five units: Safety, Manners, Advertising, Research and Technology (SMART).

"CyberSmart is the only Internet security and appropriate use curriculum currently available to schools," said Jim Teicher, founder and Executive Director of The CyberSmart School Program. "Our goal is to introduce cyber-ethics and teach children how to use the Internet effectively so that they become responsible online communicators. It's not enough for students to learn the mechanics of keyboarding and information retrieval. Students must understand the power and responsibility of citizenship associated with their use of technology."

As schools invest more heavily in technology, CyberSmart! not only supports teachers and administrators in their efforts to successfully integrate technology resources into classroom instruction, but also encourages ethical behavior among students. In addition to technical skills, the program addresses character building and decision making, teaching students what online behaviors are acceptable, appropriate and effective.

CyberSmart! is different from other education-related Internet initiatives because it focuses exclusively on the needs of children in grades K-8 (as opposed to adults or parents) and provides teachers with original, professionally developed lesson plans, not just a list of online safety rules for students to follow. Critical thinking skills are extended as students collaborate, explore and reflect on the important facets of Internet use. CyberSmart! lessons encourage students to become savvy and smart cybercitizens, rather than simply utilizing a list of Web site references to supplement topics being taught in one of the traditional subject areas.

"We encourage schools to consider The CyberSmart! Curriculum because it covers all aspects of responsible and effective technology use in a package that is easy for all teachers to use in the classroom," said Ann Flynn, Ed.D., Director, Education Technology, National School Boards Association. "We applaud CyberSmart! for taking the initiative to address appropriate computer and Internet use with a professionally developed curriculum."

With CyberSmart!, students learn how to evaluate and compare informational Web sites, how to recognize commercial messages and how to protect their identities and privacy. CyberSmart! also teaches students guidelines for good manners in cyberspace, including tips for e-mail, instant messages, chat rooms and message boards. Students also learn how to respond to unsolicited e-mail and handle uncomfortable situations online.

Many of Briargrove's classes have been working on CyberSmart! lessons for the past few months. Today, using the school's computer lab, a class of fourth grade students and their teacher, Leah Fogt, demonstrated this first of its kind education program to local and state education leaders.

"We're challenged with the need to teach appropriate use of technology, and The CyberSmart! Curriculum provides a great solution," said Ann Sledge, the school's principal. "The teachers like its ease of use, breadth and flexibility. And the students are having a great time with CyberSmart!"

Macmillan/McGraw-Hill is a unit of McGraw-Hill Education, which is part of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), a global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's and Business Week. Founded in 1888, the Corporation has more than 300 offices in 33 countries. Sales in 2001 were $4.6 billion. Additional information is available at

The CyberSmart! School Program is a non-profit organization devoted to empowering children to securely and responsibly take full advantage of computers and the Internet. The challenge - to be CyberSmart! - captures its vision of a savvy and responsible generation of young technology users. The CyberSmart! Curriculum was created by Jim Teicher and Mala Bawer, Executive Directors of The CyberSmart! School Program, and is co-published with Macmillan/McGraw-Hill. In addition to The CyberSmart! Curriculum, other CyberSmart! activities include professional development for educators, and related programs that encourage and facilitate safe and effective technology use. Additional information is available at


McGraw-Hill Education
April Hattori, 212/904-2078


Widmeyer Communications
Marjie Heberlee, 202/667-0901


The CyberSmart! School Program
Jim Teicher or Mala Bawer, 908/221-1516