Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety

For about 5 years, I have been giving assemblies at many of our district’s elementary schools on digital citizenship and internet safety. Several times, I have been asked to share the presentations which have been modified from NetSmartz presentations. NetSmartz has given me the okay to share (links at the end of this post).

NOTE: Having a one-off assembly is only a starting point and should not be the only strategy used to handle this issue. Check out “How to Stop Bullying in Schools” by Megan Holohan for more tips on what works and what doesn’t.

NetSmartz character saying

Each year, I try to change them up a little, adding anecdotes or new tips. They are in 3 categories: Transitional Kindergarten through 1st grade (15-20 minutes), 2nd and 3rd grade (about 20 minutes), and then 4th – 6th grade (about 30 minutes) with sometimes an extra time with just 6th.

Some tips:

  • Accept now that you CANNOT stop all bullying! Your child, your student, even YOU will probably be bullied at some point. I can still remember the girl who teased me in elementary school, where we were, what she was wearing, and what she said to me. I was not (and still am not) a fashion maven, but back then, we had moved from small towns in the Midwest to Southern California and did not have a lot of money.
  • Words have power. Please never say they don’t. When you remember the full name of an 8 year old classmate decades later, words have power. I read that there should be 5 or more positive comments to negative comments. Aim to be the one on the positive side of that ratio.

So what can you do?

Be a presence in children’s lives. Encourage them to speak up (diplomatically, when possible) if they see something wrong. Allow them to ask questions. Teach them how to handle a bully. Role play.

During the assemblies, I ask for 2 volunteers and make one of them “the bully” (often the smaller of the 2 since bullies are usually portrayed as bigger). Next, I ask “the bully” to show the group a mean face. (This often involves growling or giggling.) Then I walk “the victim” through how to respond.

  • “Can you ask them to stop?” Yes.
  • “Does that work?” No.
  • “Could you walk away?” Yes, but they might follow.

Next step, I whisper to the student to walk towards their teacher and tell the other to follow. “Is the bully going to continue now?” No! “Why not?” Because there is a teacher! Walk towards a teacher, a staff member, a parent volunteer, or, if you can’t find an adult, I tell the primary students to find the tallest 6th grader (and let the teachers know that I’ll be telling the 6th graders about it at their assembly so they aren’t surprised if small children suddenly stand next to them.)

This is also a fun moment to role play how students REALLY approach their teacher: “TEACHER! TEACHER! TEACHER!” Try to infuse some lighthearted moments so the assembly doesn’t feel like all doom and gloom. I ask them if their parents like when they tug on them and say, “Mom Mom Mom Mommmmmm” or “Dad Dad Dad Dadddddddddd” to get their attention. The students always laugh and shake their heads no.

Next, I give them a few more options. Compliment the bully! It will often surprise them and render them speechless so you can walk away. Bullies probably don’t feel good about themselves so pay them a compliment. It is really hard to say something negative when being complimented. Brooks Gibbs has a great YouTube video to illustrate this (starts at the 3:44 mark until the end). 

For the last option, I tell the students that me giving assemblies isn’t going to stop bullying. Even adults have to deal with bullying so the goal is to give them response skills. I let them know that though I can’t stop the bullying, but they can! If you see bullying happening, step in and try the steps above. If you don’t feel strong enough to stand up to the bully, just ignore them and invite your friend to walk over to a game or activity. If the bully follows, head towards a grownup.

In summary:

  • Ask them to stop.
  • Walk away.
  • Walk towards an adult.
  • Smile and compliment the bully.
  • Or, if none of those work, hopefully a peer steps up to assist.

pile of Halloween candy Another area we discuss is using the internet. The internet is amazing, but I compare it to a bowl of Halloween candy. Some candy you love, others… not so much, and too much of it can make you sick. Find those pieces that you enjoy and avoid the others!

What's the difference between an online-only friend and a face to face friend? clipart from Phillip Martin ClipartA few weeks ago, I presented at my young nephew’s school. We talked about being safe online and not talking to strangers. If you wouldn’t do it in person, don’t do it online. I give them an example: Would you stand in the middle of the park and shout your name, age, where you live? Then don’t do it online!

During Easter dinner, my adult niece asked how I met my friend, Bonnie, who was coming to visit from out of state. “Online.” I quickly learned that my young nephew had been paying CLOSE attention during the assembly. “Auntie! You said NOT to meet people online!” Oops. I was busted. To clarify, Bonnie and I met about 20 years ago in an online forum for a Disney game. She worked security at the parks (which I was able to verify online) and knew I was a teacher. We chatted online and finally met in person about 10 years later at Disneyland, a very public place, and we were both adults so I stand by my recommendation to children about meeting people online, but do internally laugh a bit, especially now.

Parents often ask if I talk about sexting. Yes, elementary students have had issues with this! It’s sad and scary so, yes, I do address it, but from a different angle thanks to a colleague’s idea. I put up this picture of a young girl with a GIANT snot bubble.

young girl with a giant snot bubble coming out of her nose

This definitely gets their attention. I found this image online marked with Creative Commons rights which means someone posted this picture! We talk about pictures that may seem funny to share with friends, but what if you aren’t friends in a few weeks? Or what about in a few years when you both like the same person? Guess what is going to be shared!

If you take a picture you want to share, SHOW it to your friends, don’t SEND it. That way, you retain control of the image. Once you send an image, you cannot take it back and you no longer get to decide who sees it. This often opens up a discussion that they may want to have with their parents about posting pictures. (Think of how your child would feel about that picture in 10 years, 20 years before posting it.)

Hopefully, this will give you some ideas to talk to your children and/or students. I’ve included the presentation links and other resources that I recommend. If you have any questions, feel free to DM me on Twitter @filibuster3.

Below are the links to my 2018-2019 PowerPoint presentations (note, some fonts may be different on your device and need reformatting):

UPDATE: Due to COVID-19 school closures, I wasn’t able to get to all the school sites this year so I’ve started doing voiceovers and posting the presentations to YouTube.


Recently, in an ISTE discussion, @belmedia shared these resources which I found SPOT ON!

When Kids Realize Their Whole Life is Already Online (The Atlantic)


Film Club: ‘If you Didn’t ‘Sharent,’ Did You even Parent?’ (The New York Times-Learning Network)

Note: The short film could be used with students or parents. 


I’m 14, and I quit social media after discovering what was posted about me (Fast Company)

One Slide Wonder

yellow, blue, and white logo IACUE Inland Area CUEThis weekend is the Inland Area CUE Tech Fair and I (K) will be presenting on Google, Microsoft, and Apple accessibility tools and features:  “Accessibility for Some, Benefits for All”.

Accessibility tools are necessary for some, but many could be used by all students. In this session, we will review various tools for Microsoft, Google, and Apple products and discuss not only how they can assist those who need them, but how they could benefit all your students.

Back in November, I presented at the CETPA conference for Microsoft on the amazing Learning Tools and apps like Seeing AI and Office Lens with a PowerPoint that was shared. Also included was a OneNote collection of accessibility resources.

As I prepared for this presentation on a variety of tools, I debated the format, looking at Jeopardy games using PowerPoint or gameboards in Google Slides. I found a great PowerPoint template “Colorful product roadmap timeline” and loved the layout. At that moment, I decided to go with a ONE SLIDE PowerPoint presentation.

Wild thought? Maybe, but how often do you receive a slide deck after a presentation and never look at it again?

I’ll keep you posted with how it goes! Here’s my One Slide Wonder. Sounds like a good hashtag! #OneSlideWonder

Accessibility Roadmap PowerPoint slide


What’s YOUR $100 Tech Tip?

As I (K) sit here prepping for a conference session on Microsoft accessibility tools, a tweet popped up in my feed by someone excited about another company’s accessibility features. Upon closer examination, there was a COST to 2 out of the 3 mentioned. Why? Accessibility should be, well, accessible!

100 dollar billI commented to G that sometimes I feel like I have $100 bills that no one will accept. The FREE Microsoft accessibility tools are so amazing and have many uses for MANY PEOPLE! (In fact, my session is called “Accessibility for All”.)

advanced features for Mouse Properties screen in the Pointer Options tab with Hide pointer while typing and Show location of pointer when I press the CTRL key checked.For G, some tips that get the “WOW!” factor are how to make your cursor and mouse pointer larger (especially handy for teachers who project their screens for students) OR, my favorite, how to set it so when you press the CTRL key on a Windows machine, a circle appears around your cursor to help guide those watching. Another is zooming with the CTRL key and the roller on a mouse. (Instructions found here.)

Voice settings in Immersive Reader in Word Online: Voice Speed with a range from turtle to rabbit and Voice Selection Female or MaleFor me, using Immersive Reader in Word Online (and many other programs) to help students with proofreading their writing. Another is using Office Lens on iOS or Android to take a picture of text and have it read to you. Students can take a picture of their textbook and have it read as they follow along. Read about more uses here or check out the full OneNote resource collection.

So, our question to all of you:

What’s YOUR $100 tech tip? That tip that YOU find incredible, but feel like no one else will listen or even give it a try?

We shared some of ours, but we would LOVE to hear from you in the comments. 



URL Shorteners – Why? Which? How?

Today’s post is all about URL shorteners. While there are many out there, my focus is on ones I have used personally. At the end, I’ve created a chart giving you a quick overview of all 4 and their pros and cons.

Why use URL shorteners? They make life easier when sharing a link verbally or when creating a QR code. Below is an example of 2 QR codes. On the left, the original link. On the right, the link using a URL shortener. Which one could be easier for attendees to capture on their phones, especially if far from the screen?


In July 2017, I did a presentation on Microsoft’s accessibility tools for my local Microsoft Store. I created a OneNote resource to share with attendees using a Tinyurl link.  For example, this takes you to our YouTube channel:

Tinyurl is VERY easy to use. Simple paste your link and click Make TinyURL! You can also personalize your link by entering a custom alias in the 2nd field before clicking the Make TinyURL! button. Links are NOT case sensitive. works the same as

screenshot of homepage "Welcome to TinyURL"

Easy, quick, and free! However, there was no data, nothing to tell me if anyone was using the resource I created. I kept updating the OneNote for me, but had no idea if others were viewing it.


Shortly after that presentation, a colleague told me about Bitly. You can personalize the link, change the link title, AND have data. Example: for internet search tips, see  Plus, there is a free version! You can see specific clicks in the last 30 days and the top 3 locations.

Now for the cons: What I found frustrating is that I can see the link for my accessibility resource has been clicked 15,368 times in 55 countries (as of 8/26/18), but cannot see the full list of countries. (UPDATE 5/21/19 – more countries are now listed in the free version! UPDATE 7/1/19 – those countries are gone again) Also, Bitly links ARE CASE SENSITIVE. will not work, but will go to the correct resource.

Bitly analytics with a list of countries and a blue circle graph with 15,582 total clicks in the center



Then along came Leslie Fisher‘s webinar and I discovered Delivr. WOW! Now I can see a LOT of data so I started sharing my accessibility notebook with this link: With Delivr, you can pull a report for the last 90 days to view the traffic to your link. As long as I check it within those days, I can keep track of the countries specifically and even states and provinces.

Also, Delivr links are NOT case sensitive. goes to the same resource as

Delivr data as of 8-26-18

So what are the downsides to the free version? Unlike TinyURL and Bitly, you cannot personalize the end of link so it isn’t as easy to share out verbally. You are also limited to only 5 links at a time. HOWEVER, you can change where the link points to at any time.

For example, I created a handout of internet search tips (Boolean tools) in Word (Bitly link). Then, a colleague imported it into Sway (Bitly link), inspiring me to use that medium instead. The Word link had already been tweeted out and I couldn’t change where it pointed so I had to create a new Bitly. With Delivr, I could have changed it, Internet Search Tips (Delivr link), so people who had the original link would get the newer format.


If you are sharing a link verbally, Leslie Fisher also introduced me to an incredible tool called Yellkey. What is Yellkey? Basically, when you need to share a link easily and quickly, drop it into Yellkey and a URL is created using and a common word is added to the end. For example,

Yellkey - enter URL and length of time for key to exist. Next field for selecting time for link to be live. blue button "generate yellkey" made with love by delta lab

Upside/downside? That link only works for up to 24 hours. You set the time, however.

Be aware that links ARE CASE SENSITIVE. The add on word must be lowercase, according to my tests.

Yellkey enter url and length of time for key to exist. 5 minutes, 10, 15, 30, 1 hour, 3 hours, 6, 12, 24 hours

There are numerous other URL shorteners online, some with dubious reviews like AdFly, which sounds great to monetize your resource, but I found posts talking about viruses and scam questions. has been used by many, but is no longer an option.



Bitly: free, but can upgrade to enterprise version for $6-7k a year, overall statistics and the last 30 days available, can customize link. Delivr: free for 5 links, subscription plans available - cheapest is $270/yr for 100 links, detailed overall statistics for the last 90 days available, cannot customize link. TinyURL: cost is free, data is none, can customize link. Yellkey: free, no data, cannot customize link.

They are difficult to rank, but I would put Delivr as my favorite due to the INCREDIBLY DETAILED statistics, though you cannot customize the link and you only get 5 links in the free account version. (If sharing a link verbally, you could paste your Delivr link in Yellkey and then have the user bookmark it.)

Bitly also offers free accounts AND you can customize the links and see overall statistics and 30 days worth of data. There doesn’t seem to be a limit to the number of links you can create. The free version doesn’t let you change the site the link is pointing to, but you could create a fresh Bitly.

Tinyurl is free, lets you customize, but does not give you data. No sign in.

Yellkey is free, does not let you customize, does not give you data, and has a time limit. Sometimes, I did not like the word it created. One example was which sounded negative, but you can just create another one. No sign in.