TEA, S.D. (KELO) — From Fortnite to YouTube videos, kids are online a lot these days for a variety of reasons. Keeping them safe while they surf can be a challenge. A computer teacher in Tea is hoping his students use common sense when using their devices.
“I go online like every day,” fifth-grader Leah Walder said.
Walder spends her fair share of time on a computer but she tries to find a balance.
“Don’t spend like 40 hours on your phone and don’t cyber-bully or be mean on social media and everything,” Walder said.
Walder and her fellow K-5 students at Tea Area Legacy are learning about balance and online dangers during the first few months of school from computer teacher Scott Binde.
“They come into computers, ‘Can we play Fortnite?’ It’s like, guys, we’re never going to play Fortnite,” Binde said.
Binde says his students admit to spending hours on Fortnite and Youtube. He wants them to use common sense.
A lot of games these days feature interactions with strangers online. That’s one of biggest topics of concern during Mr. Binde’s class.
“One of our situations it talks about is CoolGuy14. Well, who is he? Is he a twelve-year-old boy? Is he a 13-year-old girl? Is he a 40-year-old guy?” Binde said.
Jacob Birger knows to avoid online strangers. He doesn’t chat with anyone while playing his favorite game Roblox.
“They could accidentally tell somebody else what their address is and something bad could happen,” Birger said.
Staying safe online can be a challenge. Walder enjoys videos and doesn’t stray much from funny felines.
“Like a cat playing a piano going ding, ding, ding, ding, ding,” Walder said.
Still, she says every kid needs to be aware of what you can find when you’re surfing.
“There are bad things on the internet, so be careful what you’re watching. Don’t watch inappropriate things,” Walder said.
Also, be careful what you’re posting.
“Everything you do is on there forever and no matter what, ‘But I deleted it!’ But it’s somewhere stashed away. Really getting them aware of some of that stuff,” Binde said.
Binde says every grade at Tea Area Legacy Elementary gets training on how to be a good digital citizen. Some of the older students are even learning about email phishing scams.