ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, on Safer Internet Day, in collaboration with Disney Club Penguin, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's® NetSmartz® Workshop launched an online educator training program. The new program, "Teaching Digital Citizenship," aims to arm educators, law enforcement officers and others with the tools they need to teach Internet safety to children ages 5-17. The free training program is available online and focuses on good digital citizenship, both what it is and how to teach it.
"The distinction between online and offline means less to the next generation. They are digital natives, who grew up online," said John Ryan, NCMEC president and CEO. "When teaching kids to be ethical and safe, we cannot ignore the choices they are making on the Internet or through social media. This training can help anyone involved with educating children understand the risks kids face online and how to empower them to be responsible digital citizens."
The training tackles issues like digital literacy, online privacy, online sexual solicitation, sexting and cyberbullying. It was created by NCMEC based on the organization's experience with online crimes against children and insight into the newest strategies in Internet safety education. It is self-paced and consists of a series of videos and quizzes that take about an hour to complete. The training educates the participant about the most prevalent Internet safety issues and resources they can use to teach children to avoid those issues. When finished, the program offers a certificate that teachers can use to apply for continuing education credits. The free training is available at www.NetSmartz.org/training.
Disney Club Penguin has worked with NCMEC on Internet safety efforts for the past five years. Together they have reached communities around the nation to bring free safety education and resources to educators, law-enforcement officers, parents and children. As part of Club Penguin's global 'It Starts with You' online safety campaign in 2014, they distributed over 16,000 materials to schools, libraries, nonprofit organizations and youth groups.
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is the leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and resource center providing services for law enforcement, families and the public to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation and prevent child victimization. Designated by Congress to serve as the nation's clearinghouse on these issues, NCMEC operates a hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST® (1-800-843-5678), and has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 205,000 children. NCMEC also operates the CyberTipline, a mechanism for reporting suspected child pornography, child sex trafficking and other forms of child sexual exploitation. Since the CyberTipline was created in 1998, NCMEC has processed more than 3.6 million CyberTipline reports and reviewed more than 135 million images of apparent child pornography. NCMEC works in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, visit www.missingkids.com. Follow NCMEC on Twitter and like NCMEC on Facebook.
About Disney Club Penguin
Disney Club Penguin (http://www.clubpenguin.com), is the #1 virtual world for children on web and mobile. Club Penguin works to maintain a fun and safe online entertainment experience by using filtering technology and live moderators. The award-winning virtual world of Club Penguin contains no third-party advertising and is free to use and enjoy, however a subscription membership provides access to additional features that enhance the play experience. Club Penguin, headquartered in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, is enjoyed by children around the world, and can be played in English, German, Portuguese, French, Russian and Spanish.
SOURCE The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children