In this lesson, students discuss their experiences playing free online games and then learn the costs of these “free” games in the form of paying with money, sharing personal information or providing attention to advertising or branded content. Students then learn a variety of techniques for mitigating the risks and drawbacks of online games and communicate their learning by describing one of these techniques in video-game terms.

In this lesson, students learn about the concept of "time capsules" and then apply the idea by selecting time capsule contents to represent both the time they live in and their own lives and tastes. They then extend this idea to online content, making a "time capsule" of any online content connected to them. Younger students finish the lesson by creating a group Internet time capsule, while older students finish by considering what online content they might like to remove or keep out of their "time capsules."

In this lesson students learn the ways that the apps they use are designed to encourage them to share more information—both with other users and with the apps themselves. They are then introduced to the idea of persuasive design or “dark patterns” and investigate whether these are used to make it more difficult to opt out of data collection on popular apps. Finally, the class creates a “rogues’ gallery” to help them identify dark patterns when they encounter them.

This lesson introduces students to the ways in which commercial apps and websites collect personal information from kids and to the issues surrounding children and privacy on the Internet. Students begin by considering how comfortable they would be with people knowing various things about them, and then watch and discuss a video which explains how targeted advertising works. They then explore the idea of targeted advertising through a class exercise in which Prince Charming tries to target Cinderella with an ad for glass slippers, and then analyze how their own personal information might be used to target them with ads. In the second part of the lesson, students are introduced to privacy policies and how they are rated by the website Terms of Service, Didn’t Read. They read and analyze the site’s rating for a popular app and then learn ways to limit data collection. In an extension activity, students are introduced to the idea of “dark patterns” and imagine how the Wicked Queen might use them to convince Snow White to accept “poison” cookies.

Almost all of kids’ favourite apps and websites make money from targeted advertising, which uses their personal information to choose which ads to show them. Many of them also sell the data they collect to data brokers, which use information from many sources to make detailed profiles of users. Some also share it with other apps that are owned by the same company, such as Google and YouTube or Instagram and Facebook. 

Students will discuss the concept of human rights and then learn how these ideas led to the drafting of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Despite what many adults believe, privacy matters to youth. Teaching kids about privacy, ethics and digital citizenship can give youth the agency to control their personal information and avoid embarrassing or harming themselves and others with their online actions.

Internet and mobile communications technologies offer a wealth of opportunities for fun, learning, and exploration. They also present parents and teachers with a host of concerns and worries. In this section, you can find resources on how to tackle these issues in a positive way.

Many preschoolers are already active computer users. According to a 2012 Ofcom report, one-third of children ages 3-4 access the Internet using a computer, while a 2011 survey by Common Sense Media found that roughly the same number have used mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. While children at this age have a limited attention span for online activities, Internet images and sounds can stimulate their imaginations and add to their experiences.

This tutorial introduces children, ages 7-9, to the concept of online privacy and teaches them to distinguish between information that is appropriate to give out and information better kept private – and to recognize how this may change in different contexts.