Students in the European Union are pairing with American students in a competition promoting Internet safety for children.
InSafe, a network of centers coordinating Internet-safety awareness in the EU, and i-SAFE, the network’s American branch, are organizing partnerships between primary-grade classes in Europe and the United States.
Contestants from more than 200 U.S. and European schools are collaborating on projects—posters or Web sites, for example—that educate their peers on awareness of Internet issues such as e-privacy and “netiquette,” the conventions of communication on the Internet. Winners of the competition will be announced on Safer Internet Day, an event on Feb. 6 organized by InSafe.
Because of time differences, the European students are working on their projects in school and then sending them to their American counterparts using Web-technology tools. The U.S. students can then see what their partners did and work on the next piece of the project.
“With the computer, there are no boundaries,” said Teri L. Schroeder, the president and chief executive officer of i-SAFE, based in San Diego. “We can get collaboration classroom to classroom on a global perspective.”
The students also will be videotaped working on their projects, and the footage will later be available to a global audience via streaming video from the i-SAFE Web site.
Ms. Schroeder said that while children often say that they know not to give out identifying information on the Internet, their blogs and profiles on social-networking sites may still contain personal details and photos. “In terms of how it impacts them specifically, they just don’t get it,” she said.
Four winning project teams will receive a monetary prize—in euros, of course—to be spent on technology equipment for their schools.
More information is available at www.isafe.org.
A version of this article appeared in the January 17, 2007 edition of Education Week