Talking to Kids about the Internet

I work with an organized group for young girls which is known for selling cookies.  We’re having a meeting tonight (at my house, if posting stops short of six it’s because I found more stuff I need to clean) and we’re going to be working on a badge for using the internet safely and responsibly. 

I’m pleased with how far this organization has come since I was a member.  I remember being jealous of the boys I knew and the fun stuff they got to do in their organization.  The boys were off camping, learning orienteering, tying fancy knots and learning how to use a Swiss army knife while I was stuck gluing felt to a coffee can and making an apron.   Nowadays, while there are still many very gendered activities in the handbooks, the girls are getting to do a lot more interesting stuff.

I’m trying to come up with a good plan that both meets the badge requirements and adds a little something extra.  To earn the badge, the girls need to demonstrate that they can send an email, do a safe internet search, protect themselves from revealing too much personal information, play games, plan travel and design a website.   I’d also like to talk about online bullying and ask the girls to talk about how online culture affects their real lives.   Readers, what do you think are important things kids need to know about using the ‘net?

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

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