Free CyberSafety Tools for Schools

Discovery Education and Intel Security in consultation with the National Cyber Security Alliance have developed a free three-part online course for third through eighth grade students called “Think Before You Link“. This course designed to teach students, their families and teachers about cybersafety, online bullying, and Internet ethics will give all its users the necessary tools that will help them surf the internet safely.

The surge in the access to the computer and the use of social media and the internet by teenagers necessitated the development of this course. According to a survey conducted in 2013 by Pew Research Internet Project, ownership of smartphones by teens increased from  23 percent in 2011 to about 37 percent in 2013; and nine out of ten teens have access to computers in their homes.

Lori McFarling of Discovery Education said, “This was a long-identified need which provides educational software to schools and professional development for teachers. We’ve heard from our district partners that what they really needed was help to introduce the concept of online safety to our youngest students. These are tools meant to be used in school and out of school. It’s aimed at helping kids to become confident, safe, digital citizens. We really wanted to target and make sure we spoke to the youngest of learners because we know how early young people are getting online.”

The Relative Effectiveness of On-Line Instruction in High Schools

The demand for online instruction in high schools across the nation continues to rise with each year prompting the development of new on-line programs and courses. Online instruction on one hand is believed to increase the accessibility of educational opportunities for students who would otherwise not attend school for several reasons as well as give students an opportunity to increase their marketability through use of up-to-date technology. On the other hand, some believe that the human interaction between the instructor and the students and the interaction amongst students which are critical parts of an educational process are minimal or almost non-existent, therefore, lowering academic standards. This paper discusses the relative effectiveness of on-line instruction in high schools and its implications on students’ academic achievement.