"Intellectual distinction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for election to a Rhodes Scholarship. Selection committees are charged to seek excellence in qualities of mind and in qualities of person which, in combination, offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead. The Rhodes Scholarships, in short, are investments in individuals rather than in project proposals..."

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Technology in the Homeschool: To Boldly Go Where No Homeschool Has Gone Before

Kevin and I would like to thank those who attended our presentation today on Technology in the Homeschool.  As promised, here are our links.  Enjoy.

Digital Citizenship

Research and Information Fluency
Creativity and Innovation
http://w3schools.com/ - learn to program in almost any language

Technology Operations and Concepts
Communication and Collaboration
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making

Textbooks free online:

10 Digital Commandments for Kids
I promise to follow these commandments while using gadgets, phones and the Internet to keep my family, my friends and myself safe:
1)       My parents will decide when I am allowed to use the computer, cell phone, gaming system and the Internet.  I promise not to nag or ask for more time.  I will only visit places they say I can and do things we agree are appropriate.
2)       I will never tell anyone that I am home alone, give out my last name, home address, phone number, parent’s work or work phone numbers to anyone without getting my parent’s permission first!  I will also keep this information about my friends as private as I keep my own information.
3)       If anyone does or says anything that bothers me, I will tell my parents.  I will not use bad language, say bad things about others or send mean messages.  I will tell my parents if someone does any of those things to me.  If I use code words online, I will tell my parents what they mean.
4)       I will never post or send pictures of myself, my family or friends when I use email, instant messaging, chats or on web sites.  If I set up a blog or online profile, I will tell my parents where it is and how they can read it.
5)       I will never, ever meet with anyone I’ve talked with online without first talking to my parents.
6)       If my parents ask for my password, I will give it to them.  I will never give out my password or any others that I know to anyone, not even my friends or others besides my parents.
7)       If I want to download anything (applications, games, music, movies or programs), I will ask for permission FIRST.  I know I must pay for these things.  If I take them I am stealing.
8)       I will not try to win free things or buy things on my phone or on the Internet.  If I get a message that I have won something, I will show my parents.  If I ever get an email asking me to enter my password or other private information, I will ask my parents FIRST.  I will not forward emails or messages that tell me bad stuff will happen to me if I do not forward them.
9)       I will not open any of my parents’ files.  I will not change any settings or install any new software without my parents’ permission.
10)   I give my parents’ permission to look on the computer, at my phone or any other device to see where I have gone on the Internet, what emails and text messages I’ve sent and received, the things I’ve downloaded or what I do.  I will not erase my browsing history or record of sent messages.  If my parents install programs that track what I do on the computer or limit where I go online or on my phone, I promise not to turn them off or alter them.  I will not close a window when my parents come into the room to hide something I’m viewing.

Child’s Signature
Parent’s Signature
I have read the above and follow these rules.  If I do not make good choices, I understand I will lose the privilege to use electronic devices and the Internet based on my own decision not to follow the above rules.
I agree to let my child use electronics so long as these they make good choices and follow these rules.

10 Digital Commandments for Kids modified from www.KimKomando.com where you will find LOTS of great resources for parents keeping kids safe on the Internet.  http://www.komando.com/kids/parent-tips.aspx

10 Things You Can Do Right Away to Use Technology Safely
1)       Start using Opendns on your computers. Install monitoring software like McGruff Safeguard. Lock down YouTube and Google with SafeSearch.
2)       Have your kids read and sign the 10 Digital Commandments.  Explain Good Choice, Poor Choice and Your Choice.
3)       Password protect all PCs and make sure they are in a public location where everyone can see (not in bedrooms).
4)       Create accounts for your kids separate from yours.  Give your account admin rights and don’t give admin rights to the kids.
5)       If your kids have Facebook accounts (or any other social networking accounts), get one yourself, friend your kids and get their account info and passwords. 
6)       Find a smart friend in your support network who can help you make your equipment more secure.
7)       If you have Internet anxiety, set up a pc for your kids to use that is not connected to the Internet for typing software, word processing, and other computer software.
8)       Have your kids start using Microsoft Office, OpenOffice or GoogleDocs to do their homework.
9)       Consider using a service like www.mediafire.com to back up your data.
10)   Set up a Yahoo! Group to get your feet wet in collaborative schooling and invite another homeschooling family to join you.


Joy said...

I heard you guys did a fantastic job! Kudos! Hope you got some rest today after a long week!

RealMom4Life said...

Thanks for all the excellent information! I've downgraded myself from Geek to minor Geek. There's a lot I didn't know and I am determined to take advantage of this information!

I asked a question about safety for older kids and my frustration because bsecure was too restrictive for what my older child needed to do. Thought I would just let you know that I was wrong, I don't want to mislead you. Since we already have it on the machine and pd for it I played around a little with it. I was able to easily change the filtering to accomodate our needs. And, I do get reports of any site she either went to or attempted to go to. I had completely forgot about that since I had turned the program off while she was in an online PSEO class. YEAH - we have some protection again!

I also downloaded Scratch and spent about 15 minutes and made a really simple little movie. I left it open on the computer and sure enough, in the last 10 minutes my kids have far surpassed what I had figured out how to do! This is great! They'll get some extra computer time today while they play around with it!

bearing said...

I adapted the contract for kids at length for my own family and posted it here. Thanks for getting us started!