Cyber Savvy - student-led, positive norms digital safety curriculum
- Cyber Savvy is a student-led, positive norms approach to teach upper
intermediate, middle, and high school students (grades 5 – 12) about
digital safety, including effective digital decision-making, safe
posting of personal information, digital relationships, social
networking, cyberbullying, and digital dating/exploitation.
Cyber Savvy makes use of an online survey to gain insight into student
norms, strategies, and experience with negative incidents both as a
target and a witness. One version of the survey is for grades 5 to 8 the
other for grades 7 to 12. The difference is how issues related to
digital dating and exploitation are handled.
Students use this data to support student-led instruction and positive
norms/effective skills messaging. Safe school personnel use the data for
needs assessment of digital risk. Repeat use of the survey allows the
school to assess effectiveness in increasing positive norms and
effective strategies and decreasing victimization and distress.
Cyber Savvy fully addresses the issues schools are required to address
under the Children’s Internet Protection Act.
You can download the full program description here:
Obviously, schools are not going to be jumping into digital safety
curriculum at this time. But I have already had 7 schools that have
asked to be able to collect the survey data, so they will be prepared
for next fall. So I decided to offer this opportunity to a small group
of other schools. More information about this is available on the noted
page. I would also love to discuss the possibility with any of you on
There is going to be a release of a study of the effectiveness of the
DOJ-funded Internet safety programs sometime soon. I will just let you
guess how effective the researchers found the provision of inaccurate
fear-based messages, with simplistic rules against normative digital
behavior. :( Cyber Savvy is thoroughly based in the research on digital
risk and harm - and uses an approach to reduce risk behavior that has
demonstrated effectiveness in other areas of risk. I hope you will at
least look over the program and consider this.
Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
Embrace Civility in the Digital Age
Check out our new program:
Be a Friend ~ Lend a Hand
A Student Leadership - Positive Norms Approach
to Reduce Bullying & Limit It's Harmful Effects