excerpted from the TourBus

The Naperville, Illinois, Police Department's Internet Crimes Unit, together with Microsoft and the Illinois Attorney General's Internet Task Force, created the "SafeKids" Web site to "help parents and educators teach children the fundamental 'rules of the road' for safe exploration on the information highway."

You can find the SafeKids Web site at


The Web site features a free PowerPoint presentation, complete with in-depth lecture notes and a teacher's guide, developed by detectives who specialize in Internet crimes. The presentation teaches children how to recognize and understand the "stranger danger" they face every time they venture online. In fact, the SafeKids site offers two versions of the same PowerPoint presentation: a regular version and one that is narrated. Best of all, both the regular and narrated presentations are simple, effective, and easy to use. You don't even have to know much about computers. All you have to do is:

1. Download one of the PowerPoint files;

2. Pre-read the SafeKids teacher's guide (which can be accessed directly from the SafeKids site or by pointing your browser to http://www.microsoft.com/safekids/teachersguide.htm); and

3. Pre-read the lecture notes (included in the PowerPoint file; see below).

Do this and you will be ready to use the SafeKids PowerPoint presentation to teach any child what he or she needs to know about the risks posed by online strangers.

Now for the bad news. While the SafeKids PowerPoint presentations are spectacular, the PowerPoint files themselves are HUGE and take a while to download, especially if you choose to download the narrated version. And, unfortunately, Microsoft's SafeKids Web site leaves a LOT to be desired. For example, the Web site incorrectly states the file size for each of the SafeKids PowerPoint files. Here is the correct information:

- NAPERVILLE POWERPOINT SLIDE PRESENTATION http://www.microsoft.com/safekids/Naperville.ppt The plain PowerPoint file, without narration -- 1.25 Mb It should take about 6 minutes to download this file over a 28.8 modem

- ZIP FILE http://www.microsoft.com/safekids/n1.zip The plain PowerPoint file, without narration, zipped -- 1.06 Mb It should take about 5 minutes to download this file over a 28.8 modem

- NARRATED NAPERVILLE POWERPOINT SLIDE PRESENTATION http://www.microsoft.com/safekids/Naperville-s.ppt The narrated PowerPoint file -- 11.54 Mb It should take about 56 minutes to download this file over a 28.8 modem

- ZIP FILE http://www.microsoft.com/safekids/n1-s.zip The narrated PowerPoint file, zipped) -- 9.37 Mb It should take about 45 minutes to download this file over a 28.8 modem

To view any of these presentations, you need either PowerPoint or Microsoft's free PowerPoint viewer. Microsoft's SafeKids Web site provides a link to where you can download a free copy of the PowerPoint viewer for Windows but shamefully omits a similar link for Mac users. Not to fear, though -- that's where today's TOURBUS comesin. :)

If are a Windows user who does not already have a copy of Microsoft PowerPoint installed on your PC, you can download a free copy of Microsoft's PowerPoint viewer at

http://officeupdate.microsoft.com/downloadDetails/ppview97.htm .

Mac users can find a similar Mac version of the PowerPoint viewer at

http://www.microsoft.com/macoffice/productinfo/98dl/pptvdl.htm .

Now for the REALLY bad news. Each of the 37 slides in the SafeKids presentation comes with in-depth lecture notes that provide you with additional information and discussion topics for you and your children. Unfortunately, you can only view these lecture notes if you are using the full version of Microsoft PowerPoint. If you use Microsoft's free PowerPoint viewer, you will not be able to see ANY of these notes. [Hopefully someone in Redmond will read today's TOURBUS post and quickly rectify that situation.]

To view the lecture notes in Microsoft PowerPoint, open the SafeKids presentation in PowerPoint and go to View --> Notes Page. To print out the lecture notes (which I strongly recommend you do), go to File --> Print and down at the bottom of the new screen choose "Notes Pages" from the 'Print what:' pull-down menu.

In fact, if you are going to use the SafeKids PowerPoint presentation with your students or children, here's what I recommend you do:

1. If you don't have PowerPoint, download the PowerPoint viewer.

2. Download the narrated version of the SafeKids presentation. Yes, the file is big. Yes, it is going to take forever to download. Your kids are worth the wait.

3. Visit the teacher's guide page (there is a link to it on the SafeKids Web site), print it, and read it.

4. If you have the full version of PowerPoint, open the SafeKids presentation, print out the lecture notes, and read them too.

5. Once you have read all of the support material, sit your children in front of the computer and go over the SafeKids presentation with them. Ask questions. Make this a family or classroom activity.

Microsoft's gaffes aside, the SafeKids PowerPoint presentation is spectacular and is going to teach your children or students how to recognize and understand the "stranger danger" they face every time they venture online.