This presentation is for current or prospective
Kindergarten or Early Education teachers,
administration, and resource staff. This
presentation will discuss the usage of social
networks in Kindergarten.
What is Social Networking?
We define social network sites as web-based services
that allow individuals to:
1. Construct a public or semi-public profile within a
2. Articulate a list of other users with whom they share a
3. View and traverse their list of connections and those
made by others within the system.
The nature and nomenclature of these connections
may vary from site to site (Boyd & Ellison, 2007).
Benefits of Social Networking
• Young people as social participants and active
• Young people developing a voice and building trust
• Young people as content creators, managers and
• Young people as collaborators and team players
• Young people becoming independent and building
• Young people developing key and real-world skills
(Childnet International, 2010)
Social Networking in Early
Social Networking in the Prekindergarten and Elementary
Education area commonly ranges from creating virtual pets
online and interacting with others to blogging or chatting.
Since this is a very young age for children to begin
interacting socially through the internet, most networks will
ask the children for their parents email address or to mail in
a signed permission form via internet or mail to verify their
age. The most dangerous impact today usually found on
social networks, is the entrapment of pedophiles to these
young children. Other problems relate to family issues such
as children not spending enough time with the family,
especially at such a young age when family time is critical,
both emotionally and physically (Horizon Project).
Social Networking with
When using social networking tools with Kindergarteners, follow these guidelines:
• The teacher will be the ONLY person physically on the internet using the sites,
unless the entire site is created for the age group. The children may not be ready
for independence yet.
• Choose activities that can be performed as a group, preferably on a smart board,
large computer screen, or at home with parents.
• Do not allow the students to roam freely on any social networking site, unless they
have been trained and it is approved by the school and parents.
• Do not use any of the children’s names or photographs on the sites unless parents
have given permission and the site is strictly password or membership protected.
This is not foolproof, though. Use very generic content.
• Let them be creative, using the teacher as a conduit for sharing their creativity.
(List created by Erin Markus)
– Privacy on social networking sites can be undermined by many factors. For example,
users may disclose personal information, sites may not take adequate steps to protect
user privacy, and third parties frequently use information posted on social networks for
a variety of purposes. "For the Net generation, social networking sites have become the
preferred forum for social interactions, from posturing and role playing to simply
sounding off. However, because such forums are relatively easy to access, posted
content can be reviewed by anyone with an interest in the users' personal information“
• Access to information
– Many social networking services, such as Facebook, provide the user with a choice of
who can view their profile. This prevents unauthorized user(s) from accessing their
information. Parents who want to access their child's MySpace or Facebook account
have become a big problem for teenagers who do not want their profile seen by their
parents. By making their profile private, teens can select who may see their page,
allowing only people added as "friends" to view their profile and preventing unwanted
parents from viewing it. Teens are constantly trying to create a structural barrier
between their private life and their parents.
Potential Dangers (cont’d)
• Potential Misuse
– The relative freedom afforded by social networking services has caused concern
regarding the potential of its misuse by individual patrons.
– Citizens and governments have been concerned by a misuse by child and teenagers of
social network services, particularly in relation to online sexual predators. A certain
number of actions have been engaged by governments to better understand the
problem and find some solutions (ISTTF, 2008).
– Online bullying (aka "Cyber-bullying") is a relatively common occurrence and it can often
result in emotional trauma for the victim. Depending on the networking outlet, up to
39% of users admit to being “cyber-bullied” (Boyd & Ellison, 2007).
Safety “Rules and Tools”
• Supervise use of all Internet-enabled
• Follow all online activities.
• Regularly check the online communities
the children use, such as social networking
and gaming sites, to see what information
they are viewing or posting.
• Monitor the photos and videos the kids
post and send online.
• Discourage the use of webcams and
mobile video devices at this age, without
• Teach the children how to protect
personal information posted online and to
follow the same rules with respect to the
personal information of others.
• Educate children on how to respond to
• Restrict access to live chat rooms without
very close supervision.
• Set age appropriate filters.
• Use monitoring software.
• Monitor browser histories
• Set time limits and consider using time-
• Use safe search engines.
• Set up Cyber Security Systems, if available.
• Be sure children use privacy settings.
Social Networking @ Home
Parental controls should be utilized on all Internet-enabled
devices (desktops, laptops; and gaming, mobile, and music
devices). However, these resources are not a substitute for
It is important to educate parents to know where their
school community stands on digital media and how issues
are handled (Levinson & Socia, 2010).
It is critical to engage parents in a dialogue regarding digital
media and how concerns that arise are handled. Parents
and schools have optimal opportunities to “teach in the
moment” and to support clear and consistently upheld
standards of behavior when using digital media (Levinson &
Network Safety Tools
There are software packages that can help
keep the internet a safe, usable resource for
children, as with most types of filters some
work and some don't. Below are examples of a
few that are on the market.
Introducing technology into the learning environment
can encourage cooperative learning and student collaboration
Virtual Worlds are abundant online and more
and more sites are being geared towards kids.
Whether they prefer puppies or penguins,
chatting or games, there are sites to appeal to
a wide variety of personalities. Parents and
teachers should take the time to find a site
that matches their budget, the interests of
their children, and their overall safety
Click Here to Watch YouTube Video about Togetherville
• SecretBuilders is a virtual world for children 5 to 14
years old powered by a web 2.0 community of
children, parents, educators, writers, artists and game
developers. On SecretBuilders, children will explore
virtual lands, undertake quests, play games, maintain a
home, nurture a pet, and interact with their friends
• SecretBuilders: SecretBuilders is a quirky virtual world,
with an emphasis on culture and learning. Imagine
conversing with William Shakespeare or Sherlock
Holmes as you build your virtual home. There are
games to play and mysterious quests to undertake. It's
certainly unique in the realm of kids' virtual worlds so
far. Secret Builders is currently free to play.
• SecretBuilders helps prepare students for decision
making and guiding themselves through educational
and life skills activities. In this activity, children can
spend money, make important decisions, and
communicate with others while traveling through their
Teacher-Led Social Networking
There are many social networking
opportunities for teachers to use with their
classes. The following slides show some
sample activities that can be used in an actual
Kindergarten Classroom that has the required
technology. All of these activities are teacher-
led, but allow the children to be the decision
makers and interactive participants.
Mrs. M’s Kinder Life Skills Flickr Group!
Come Grow With Us!
Follow this Link to the site!
This group is by invitation only. If you would like to be
added, let me know!
For our Flikr Group, we will be using the group
to share our experiences with parents and
invited visitors. We will be posting
announcements, pictures, and activity photos
for all to see! You must have an invite to be a
member of this group. If you are interested,
please contact Mrs. Markus.
Come Grow With Us!
We will be using Skype during our Life Skills Unit
We will be visiting with:
• A dentist (oral hygiene)
• A doctor (health)
• A deployed soldier (being brave)
• And anyone else that would like to share their time
with us! Parents: Share your special skills with us!
The Skype address for our room is: Mrs. Markus
Skype is a wonderful tool for communicating
on the internet and see a face at the same
time. We will be using Skype to have a few
visitors to the room during our Life Skills Unit.
These visitors may be far away and this gives
us an opportunity to visit with anyone,
anywhere in the world! The children can ask
live questions and share some of their work
with the guests, as they share their specialty
Skype Generic Lesson Plan
Name of Activity: Skype Visitor
Subject: Life Skills
Materials: Computer Lab or
Time Requirement: 30 minutes
• Interact with a classroom visitor
• Listen intently as the visitor
teaches them about a special topic
• Ask questions to inquire more on
Students understand the protocol of
a class visitor
1. Pre-arrange the visitor.
2. Have a trial run earlier in the day or the day
prior to the visit to ensure that equipment
and contact information is in order.
3. Have students come to the carpet in front
of the camera so the visitor can view the
4. Allow the visitor to guide the students
through the visit and decide when they will
ask questions. If the visitor requests, you
may mediate the visit.
5. Make sure students are sitting quietly and
that only one person talks at a time, since
the microphone is very sensitive.
6. Plan for a specified start and stop time and
stick to it. Intervene if necessary.
Utilizing my Facebook.com Login, we will be
working a farm together as a class as we learn
about eating healthy and growing our own fruits
This activity can be accomplished by opening up
Farmville on the ActivBoard and the class will
assist me in making all of my gardening and
farming decisions throughout the year.
We will see the seasons change, the holidays
come and go, and we will be need to be very
responsible to ensure that our food does not die
Farmville is located inside Facebook as an
application. A login is required.
www.facebook.com or www.farmville.com
Farmville is an application within the platform of
Facebook. Farmville is a fun, interactive activity
that involves planning and maintaining a farm,
gardens, and forests. The children will love to
help the teacher in the day-to-day function of the
farm This activity will teach them about healthy
fruits and vegetables and let them experience a
way of life that they may never get to see. This
activity will be performed as a group utilizing the
ActivBoard. The class will be directly involved in
all of the decision making. They will love it!
Farmville Generic Lesson Plan
Name of Activity: Farmville
Subject: Life Skills
Materials: Computer Lab or
Time Requirement: 30 minutes
• Recite names of fruits and
• Learn about seasonal fruits and
• Think about and apply new
knowledge to farming decisions.
Students have been introduced to
basic healthy eating habits, that
include fruits and vegetables.
1. Situate students on the carpet in front of
2. Open up Facebook and Log-in to Farmville
application, if not already completed.
3. Ask the students what they did on the farm
4. Talk about the season and what fruits and
vegetables grow in that season.
5. Check on the farm to see what needs to be
done on that day (harvesting, planting,
6. Call on students to help you choose where
and how to plant the crops.
7. Allow them to be creative. If their decision
causes harm to the crop, they will learn
8. Limit the Farmville time to 30 minutes.
Web Safety Resources
ConnectSafely is a forum for parents, teens, educators, and advocates designed to give teens and parents a voice
in the public discussion about youth online safety, and has tips, as well as other resources, for safe blogging and
social networking. Along with NetFamilyNews.org, it is a project of the non-profit Tech Parenting Group.
Cyberbully411 provides resources and opportunities for discussion and sharing for youth — and their parents —
who have questions about or may have been targeted by online harassment. The website was created by the non-
profit Internet Solutions for Kids, Inc., with funding from the Community Technology Foundation of California.
GetNetWise is a public service sponsored by Internet industry corporations and public interest organizations to
help ensure that Internet users have safe, constructive, and educational or entertaining online experiences. The
GetNetWise coalition works to provide Internet users with the resources they need to make informed decisions
about their and their family’s use of the Internet.
• Internet Keep Safe Coalition
iKeepSafe.org is a coalition of 49 governors/first spouses, law enforcement, the American Medical Association, the
American Academy of Pediatrics, and other associations dedicated to helping parents, educators, and caregivers
by providing tools and guidelines to promote safe Internet and technology use among children.
1. Technology is only technology for those who were born BEFORE it. -author unknown
2. We need to prepare students for THEIR future, not OUR past. – Ian Jukes, Educator and
3. Teachers need to stop saying “Hand it in”, and instead say “Publish it” -Alan November
4. We have moved from “know what” learning to “know where” learning.
5. The largest number of podcasts in education are about podcasts on education.-Marco
6. Kids DO want to learn, but schools get in the way.-author unknown
7. Digital Media enables us to build more stages for our kids to express themselves. -
8. What gets us in trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know that just ain't
so.- Mark Twain
9. We need to replicate in the classroom the world in which students are living.
10. If we teach today the way we were taught yesterday we aren't preparing students for
today or tomorrow.
All quotes retrieved from Innovative Educator Blog (2008)
Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and
scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), article 11.
Childnet International (2010). Social networking: benefits and opportunities. Retrieved
November 10, 2010 from http://www.digizen.org/socialnetworking/risks.aspx
David Rosenblum (2007). "What Anyone Can Know: The Privacy Risks of Social
Internet Safety (2009) www.internetsafety101.org
Internet Safety Technical Task Force, Final Report of the Internet Safety Technical Task
Force to the Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking of State Attorneys
General of the United States. 2008 (published 31 December 2008). Retrieved from:
Levinson, Matt & Socia, Deb (2010). Moving beyond one size fits all with digital
citizenship. Retrieved from:
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL). (1999). Retrieved September
2, 2010, from http://www.sedl.org/pubs/tec26/cnc.html