Use two of these three “new” resources on NetSmartz to satisfy Bears’ Cyber Chip recharge requirements:
“Know The Rules” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO7ObEah6rM
“NetSmartz Generation” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5wzuYcxT6M
Then, talk to your den about griefing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griefer (my own recommendation, not an official requirement).
For Bears who need to recharge their Cyber Chip, the requirement says they should complete two “new” resources on Netsmartz. So which new NetSmartz resources should you use?
I just spent an hour sifting through the updated NetSmartz site (so you don’t have to - you’re welcome) and discovered that most of the new material doesn’t apply to third graders, or the content is weak unwieldy (see the 32 page PPT).
- “Into the Cloud” Six video episodes about social media. Not really applicable to 8 and 9 year-olds, as the minimum age for Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc, is 13 or older, and I honestly don’t know any kids that age who uses social media.
- “Way 2 Go” video is about staying safe while getting to and from school. Good info but it has nothing to do with cyber safety.
- “Connecting With New Friends Online” good info, but again, this is directed at older kids who have their own mobile phones and are using social media. Most 8 and 9 year-olds won’t relate to the subject matter.
- “It’s Ok to Tell”. This video instructs kids on what they should do if they see inappropriate images online. I suppose this one is age appropriate, but I found the presentation awkward and a little dark.
“Being a Goof Digital Citizen”, a presentation for elementary school children ages 3-5. This is a 30-minute, 32 slide PowerPoint presentation that requires a laptop, projector, screen, and sound system. I don’t think most den leaders or parents are going to want to do this.
“Safety Stories” is an 8-page PDF printout that asks each child kids to affix: a pictures of himself or herself, pictures of trusted adults, a picture of their home, a picture of their computer, as well as list personal details including their address and telephone numbers. This one seems wrong for so many reasons. First, who is going to go through the trouble of printing pictures of their home and computer? And second, such a document would contain way too much personal information! It would have to be shredded rather than thrown in the trash!
“Delivery For Webster” E-book. The premise is weird: if you click on a pop-up and submit your address, you’ll receive free stuff (like a broken record player) in the mail. Bizarre.
“The Princess’s Password” E-book. The moral of the story is good: use strong passwords and change them often, but the storyline is strange. The girl’s online virtual castle gets ruined because she didn’t change her password, but then it gets restored to its former glory after she updates her password. I know of no game that messes up your buildings if you don’t change your password occasionally. You can tell these stories were written by someone who has little gaming experience.
And finally the good news…
These are the three best “new” resources on NetSmartz that are applicable to Bears. The videos are short, to-the-point, lighthearted songs. The e-book is decent:
“Know The Rules” (1:53). Video about establishing rules when online friends ask to meet in person. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO7ObEah6rM
“NetSmartz Generation” (2:07). Warns kids about sharing personal details online. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5wzuYcxT6M
Gecko’s Goof E-book. This is the best of the three e-books. It admonishes kids that not everything they read on the internet is true, and that they should seek out at least three trustworthy sources to verify claims. Good primer for learning how to avoid fake news. https://secureservercdn.net/22.214.171.124/814.5c1.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/ebook-webstersg-gecko-goof.pdf Discussion guide: https://www.missingkids.org/content/dam/netsmartz/downloadable/ebooks/ebook-guide-websters-gecho-goof.pdf
To satisfy the recharging requirements, I’ll email the links to parents and ask that their child watch/read two of these items at home. Then, at the next den meeting, I’ll discuss a very important subject that is strangely absent on NetSmarts, a subject that lots of 8 and 9 year-olds have experienced personally: griefing.
I know MANY 8 and 9 year-olds who play online versions of Minecraft, Roblox, Wizard 101, etc. and griefing is something many of them have experienced or even engaged in themselves.
(If you don’t know what it is, read the Wikipedia page on griefing and then print it out to use as a reference during your den meeting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griefer)
First, I explain why scouts should never engage in griefing: it contradicts many aspects of the Scout Law, it exhibits bad sportsmanship, and it can be a form of cyber bullying. Next, I go over what they should do if they encounter griefing while playing online (log off, switch servers/games, tell a trusted adult, report to admins, etc).
Discussing greifing along with the other topics of cyber safety will give Bears a more complete strategy for staying safe online and practicing good netiquette.