Staying safe in a wired world

Innovative new resource educates kids about being safe and healthy online

TORONTO, Sept. 13, 2011 /CNW/ - Kids are becoming increasingly connected through the Internet, and issues with netiquette, cyberbullying and security and privacy are emerging at younger and younger ages. This fall, Ophea is launching Connect[ED]: www.reallifeonline.ca, a free online resource on Internet safety for students in Grades 4-6.

"Over 94% of Canadian children access the Internet at home. Our goal is to help these students examine and develop their own online practices and behaviours in the same way they would in real life situations," says Heather Gardner, Curriculum Consultant at Ophea. "This resource will help children apply real life behaviour to life online."

Children need to be educated about safe online practices, educators need support staying up-to-date with the online activities of students, and parents need greater knowledge of the world online to be equipped to deal with issues that may arise.

Developed with these needs in mind, this web-based resource (also available on DVD) teaches students in Grade 4, 5 and 6 how to be safer in an ever-changing world of technology. Connect[ED] engages kids in a fun and interactive way through video episodes and related activities. It provides educators and parents with the tools they need to comfortably and effectively protect their students and children during daily online activities.

The resource will be delivered to schools across Ontario in September and is also available online. Ophea, Kids Help Phone, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of Education are delivering seven regional training sessions on the resource to ensure that teachers are supported in educating their students about Internet safety.

Connect[ED]: Real Life Online was funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education as part of their commitment to ensure that every Ontario public school student is educated in Internet safety. The resource was developed in partnership with the Ontario Provincial Police, Kids Help Phone, University of Toronto Faculty of Social Work, University of Ontario Institute of Technology and TVOKids. For more information and to access the resource, visit www.reallifeonline.ca

Ophea is a not-for-profit organization led by the vision that all kids value, participate in, and make a lifelong commitment to healthy active living. Since 1921, Ophea has been working in partnership with school boards, public health, government, non-government organizations, and private sector companies to support the health and learning of children and youth through the provision of programs and services that support healthy schools and healthy communities. To learn more, visit www.ophea.net

SOURCE Ontario Physical and Health Education Association

For further information:

Melanie Slade
Ophea
416-426-7034
melanie_slade@ophea.org

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Ontario Physical and Health Education Association

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