5. Integrate the Internet into other camp activities.
Adding Internet education to your camp program can be rewarding, but, to maximize the impact, integrate the Internet into other camp activities. If your Internet training is only one of many program offerings, be sure to schedule the program in such a way that Internet activity participants can still join other campers in swimming, crafts, and other regular camp activities. There are a number of ways to do this.
- Schedule the Internet activities so that they blend with the overall camp schedule. For example, if there is a two-hour activity block where campers choose swimming, boating, or hiking, just add "Internet activities" to the list of options. If, on the other hand, you want to offer the Internet training to a select group of campers (e.g., see Case Study #6 at the end of this section), be sure to schedule their labs so that they can participate in some of the other camp activities as well.
- Choose Internet activities that blend well with other offerings. Encourage your campers to conduct research on some camp activity via the Internet. If, for example, your participants make beadwork bracelets, they can search the Internet to learn how native Americans use beadwork to decorate their clothing and artifacts. If you offer horseback riding at your camp, your Internet explorers could learn more about breeds, training, or the evolution of horses in North America by visiting Web sites.
- If your participants have different computer skill levels, let the advanced group create their own Web design company and contract their services to the less advanced group (e.g., see Case Study #6). The beginners can do Internet searches to find sites of interest and their contractors can create a site that incorporates those links. Both groups could have daily meetings, and the contractors could deliver progress reports to their "employers." The groups could work together to use information from their own Web site to create and update a camp newsletter.
- An Internet scavenger hunt is a great way for participants to practice searching the Internet for specific information, and the hunt can easily be tailored to your camp theme. Arranged in teams of two, campers begin with a list of objects; when the team captures the object on their computer screen, a staff member initials the item on the list. The team with the most "hits" at the end of the time period wins a prize. The example in the Sample Lesson Plans and Activity Sheets section is a sample of an object list used at Camp Courage. As you can see from the sample list, almost any person or object can be part of the hunt.
- Include camp counselors, staff, and others in your special program. For example, at Camp Courage (see Case Study #6 at the end of this section) regular camp counselors help in the computer lab and participate in a panel, sharing their college experiences with the campers in the Internet and College Preview Program.
Internet Safety and Acceptable Use
In all the excitement of integrating Internet activities into your camp, don't forget that the Internet was originally used by adults. Take steps to ensure that your campers use the resource responsibly and safely.
Although most instructors have positive experiences when using the Internet as a teaching tool, there are people on the Net who post text and photos that are not appropriate for your campers. The best protection is to be aware of what your campers are doing at all times. If you provide them with focused, stimulating activities, they will be less likely to get into trouble out of boredom or because of misguided searches. However, there are also software programs available that block access to sexually explicit Internet resources. The titles listed below are samples of such software programs; a local computer store can provide details on options and costs.
- SurfWatch™ by SurfWatch Software, Inc.
- Net Nanny™ by Trove Investment Corporation
- Bess, the Internet Retriever™ by N2H2, Incorporated
- CyberPatrol® by Microsystems Software
Your campers should be made aware that they are responsible for using the Internet ethically and legally. Most Internet service providers have what is called an "acceptable use policy." These policies are designed to prohibit file theft or violations of informational privacy. Make sure that you and your campers read and adhere to the policies of your service provider. Discuss Internet safety, acceptable use, and ethics with program staff, parents, and participants. Below is an excerpt from a form signed by high school participants and their parents before Internet access is provided.
Example: Internet Access Permission Form
Hawking Access Form (DO-IT Scholar)
DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology)
University of Washington
Name (Please print)______________________________________________________________
street address city state zip
street address city state zip
Social Security #_______________________________Phone # (h)______________________
School and/or School District Affiliation________________________________________
Preferred logon name (if any)__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __(maximum of 8 characters)
Project DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) is primarily funded by the National Science Foundation. One goal of the program is to encourage communication and scientific inquiry between high school project participants, post-secondary students, professors, and practicing engineers and scientists, many with disabilities themselves. Communications and information access are to promote success in academics and careers and successful transition to college and employment. The Internet network is used to support this effort. Project participants are given accounts on a computer named hawking.u.washington.edu, which is located at the University of Washington. To facilitate communication between project participants, we share participant names, logon names, states of residence, interests, and other information.
Over the Internet participants have access to people and materials from all over the world. The University of Washington does not have control of the information on the Internet, nor does it provide any barriers to account holders accessing the full range of information available over the Internet. Other sites accessible via the Internet may contain material that is defamatory, inaccurate, illegal, or potentially offensive to some people. Please note that the University of Washington and our Internet service provider, NorthWestNet, make no warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, regarding Internet resources and services or the contents of resources or electronic messages over the Internet, nor shall they be liable in any event for incidental or consequential damages, direct or indirect, resulting from use of this information. Objectionable messages sent to your electronic mail address should be reported immediately to the DO-IT staff.
Your computing account is provided to enable instruction, communication, and research. You are expected to use your Internet account in a considerate, ethical and lawful manner. Use privileges are non-transferable. Do not share your account with others. Account theft, file theft, violations of information privacy, and/or penetration or harm to the operating system are prohibited. Unauthorized and/or inappropriate use may result in loss of privileges and/or prosecution. Parents are expected to supervise the Internet activities of their child when accessed from home.
All people who use computers at the University of Washington agree to the following conditions:
- To respect the intended use of all computer accounts for university research, clinical, instructional, and administrative purposes and to follow the rules and regulations governing the use of UW facilities and equipment;
- To respect the privacy of others by not sending them unwanted email messages, misrepresenting them when sending email, or tampering with their accounts, files, or data;
- To use only your own user identification, and to use it for the purposes for which it was intended;
- To not attempt to break a computing system or harass other people, either by developing programs for those specific purposes or by using already existing programs to do so;
- To not use university-owned computers for personal activities or for illegal purposes, such as unauthorized copying of licensed or copyrighted software.
I agree to use my account for purposes consistent with the goals of project DO-IT, the University of Washington use responsibility policies, and the guidelines presented in this form. I understand that violation of the conditions of this agreement may result in loss of privileges and/or prosecution. I will provide reports of my use when requested. I give my permission to share my name, account address, postal address, phone number, disability, and other information.
Participant signature_________________________________ Date________________
As a parent or guardian of this child, I have read the materials in the Hawking Access Form. I agree to the conditions described above and give my permission to issue an account to my child. I understand that the University of Washington and NorthWestNet cannot take responsibility for the content of materials available on the Internet and take responsibility for the supervision of my child. I have received a copy of the brochure "Child Safety and the Internet." I have also read and agree to the program conditions in "Guidelines for DO-IT Scholars and Ambassadors." I hereby give permission to issue an account to my child.
Parent/Legal Guardian name________________________________________________
Parent/Legal Guardian Signature____________________________ Date__________
Return this form to:
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-4842
206-685-DOIT (3648) (voice/TTY)
888-972-DOIT (3648) (voice/TTY)
509-328-9331 (voice/TTY) Spokane