Cyber Savvy is a student-led, positive norms approach to teach upper intermediate, middle, and high school students (grades 5 – 12) about digital safety, including effective digital decision-making, safe posting of personal information, digital relationships, social networking, cyberbullying, and digital dating/exploitation.
Cyber Savvy makes use of an online survey to gain insight into student norms, strategies, and experience with negative incidents both as a target and a witness. One version of the survey is for grades 5 to 8 the other for grades 7 to 12. The difference is how issues related to digital dating and exploitation are handled.
Students use this data to support student-led instruction and positive norms/effective skills messaging. Safe school personnel use the data for needs assessment of digital risk. Repeat use of the survey allows the school to assess effectiveness in increasing positive norms and effective strategies and decreasing victimization and distress.
Cyber Savvy fully addresses the issues schools are required to address under the Children’s Internet Protection Act.
Nancy Willard’s book, Cyber Savvy: Embracing Digital Safety and Civility, (Corwin Press), which provides extensive, research-based background, is now available. More Information on the book …
Download information on the Program. This document includes the instructional objectives and survey questions. The additional program resource is a template for a slideshow that is modified using local data.
Preview the high school survey.
Over the last school year, I have been working with a number of schools implementing the Cyber Savvy approach, and have made some decisions about focus.
It has become increasingly evident to me that there is a need to focus on the more critical safety concerns faced by pre-teens and teens. Both research evidence and experiential insight leads to the conclusion that the more significant risks begin to emerge around 5th grade – not coincidentally in conjunction with sexual maturity.
There are an ample number of Internet safety instructional resources for elementary children, which are engaging and have shifted away from the previous fear-based, “stranger danger” approaches. I am not going to try to compete with these excellent resources.
It is, however, my strong belief that teens are far less likely to think that adults, either in physical format or an adult-created “lesson,” effectively understand their digital lives. At this stage, it is my strong opinion that instruction must shift to student-led discussions, grounded in local data. This where the Cyber Savvy approach holds the greatest promise.
Pilot Implementation Opportunity
Obviously, schools will not be jumping into new curriculum in Spring 2013. However, a number of schools have already approached me with an interest in obtaining survey data to enable them to jump into instruction and other safety activities in the 2013/14 school year.
I would like to offer this opportunity to 20 – 30 middle or high schools. Because this will be a pilot implementation, you will receive the slides presentation updated with your local data. You will also receive a Needs Assessment analysis of the risk data.
This is a $999 value opportunity that will be available until June 1, 2013 for only $499. (Discounts for districts with several schools.) Please contact me at: info (at) embrace civility (dot) org.
Vintage Instructional Objectives From the Cyber Savvy book
The Vintage Instructional Objectives contained in Cyber Savvy are provided here:
- Instructional Objectives for Grades 9-12.
- Instructional Objectives for Grades 6-8.
- Instructional Objectives for Grades 4-6.
- Instructional Objectives for Grades K-3.