February 1, 2002 Education Daily Page 3


A new online technology curriculum-which is offered free of charge-aims to teach elementary and middle school students how to use the Internet safely and effectively, while encouraging ethical behavior online.

Launched yesterday in the Houston school district, CyberSmart was developed by the nonprofit CyberSmart School Program and textbook publisher McGraw-Hill Education.

Designed for students in grades K-8, the curriculum consists of 65 standards-based lesson plans organized in five units: Safety, Manners, Advertising, Research and Technology. In addition to technical skills, the program focuses on character building and decision making, including what online behaviors are acceptable, appropriate and effective.

Lessons include how to evaluate and compare informational Web sites, and how to protect one's identity and privacy online. Others include tips for e-mailing and chat rooms, and how to handle uncomfortable situations online.

"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 ... technology," said Jim Teicher, founder and director of the CyberSmart School Program.

For more information, access www.cybersmart.org.