Allyson Bondy, Crisis Services Intern, takes a look at how NRS’ curriculum helps youth learn about internet safety.

It’s hard for many of us to imagine a world without the internet and it can be even harder to imagine for youth who have had the internet in their lives since they were born.

For many of the youth who contact us about isolation among their peers or difficulties at home, the internet acts as a place of refuge and acceptance. Because we recognize that the internet can be such a valuable tool for young people, we also want to do our part in educating young people about how they can navigate the internet safely.

Our free Let’s Talk: Runaway Prevention Curriculum contains 14 modules, each dedicated to building important life skills and educating young folks about alternatives to running away. Module 13, “Internet Safety and Fun”, promotes online safety by giving young people the tools they need to figure out what is and is not safe online behavior for themselves.

After Module 13, young folks are able to:

• Identify sources for various websites and determine whether or not they are trustworthy

• Avoid internet fraud and recognize what personal information should be kept private

• Recognize who in online communities is or is not trustworthy

This module encourages youth to interact and learn from one another through an internet safety role play activity. Students are assigned roles to act out tricky online situations. Scenarios range from potentially dangerous situations to online bullying. After students act out scenarios, they are asked to reflect upon the decisions they made during the role play.

Questions to consider include:

• What would you do in this person’s situation?

• What would you have done to prevent being in this situation?

• What were some of the bad decisions, if any, that were made throughout this situation?

The internet evolves quickly and continuously, so we feel it is important to empower young people with knowledge of the fundamentals of healthy and safe online relationships. As the internet changes, these principles of safety remain consistent. All of the activities in this module are designed to allow young people to continue using the internet safely. The internet is a huge part of young people’s lives and can provide an important sense of community to youth who are especially at risk for running away from home. By preparing all young people to form healthy online habits, we allow them to access affirmative resources from all over the world.

Interested in using our Let’s Talk: Runaway Prevention Curriculum?  Click here to learn more and download the curriculum.

 

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