At the request of several school leaders in Oklahoma and Texas, I’m putting together a series of updated presentations this year for K-12 students as well as parents and teachers focusing on Internet safety, privacy, cyberbullying issues, digital footprints and digital citizenship. (Contact info is available on my “speaking” page.)

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Using video clips, case studies from recent situations in the mainstream press involving social media, and discussion prompts, these interactive sessions focus on helping students as well as adults make good decisions with digital media while keeping communication channels open. Sessions are available geared toward primary age students (grades K-2), upper elementary (grades 3-5), secondary students, teacher groups, and parent groups. Some of the topics addressed include:

  1. Facebook: Why should we have boundaries for sharing information on Facebook and what are my boundaries? Should I, my sibling or my child get a Facebook account before age 13?
  2. Digital Ethics: What responsibilities go along with the use of cell phones and computers to share media as well as textual information?
  3. Password Security: Why is it important to safeguard my login credentials?
  4. Digital Footprints: How are people using websites like Google, Pipl.com, and other sites to search for information about prospective employees, and how can my digital footprints affect my future after high school?
  5. Commenting Responsibly: How can comments left on YouTube, Facebook, and other sites affect my life today and tomorrow? Are my words powerful? Do my comments matter? How can I moderate comments others leave on my websites?
  6. Cyberbullying: How can and should I respond if I witness cyberbullying, or am a victim?
  7. Power in my Pocket: How can I constructively use my cell phone and online accounts to promote good in the world, instead of hurting others or myself?
  8. Stranger Danger: Why is it RARELY a good idea to meet someone in person I only met online, especially when I’m a minor? (Many parents have met partners or spouses on sites like eHarmony, so it can be misleading to tell students “NEVER meet someone F2F you’ve met online.) How can you tell if someone you meet online REALLY is who they say they are, and if they are “safe?” Who should you talk to when you are faced with a situation online that makes you uncomfortable?
  9. Texting While Driving: Why is texting while driving in the car VERY dangerous, and what can be done to encourage others to NOT do it?
  10. Sexting (secondary and adults only): How can cell phone photo sharing have a devastating impact on my life or the lives of others? What can and should I do about this if it happens?

The following topics are specifically for parents and teachers attending sessions, which can be offered as “coffee chat” sessions during the school day (advertised via PTA groups) or after school / in the evening:

  1. Open Communication Channels: How can we help our students and children develop perceptions of responsibility and accountability for their actions online as well as the face-to-face world? What tools and strategies are effective in promoting open communication about digital media use?
  2. Balanced Filtering: What are the benefits and what is the rationale for adopting a balanced content filtering approach at school and at home? How can we utilize a layered “defense in depth” approach when it comes to content filtering and online accountability which can help keep students safe as well as prepare them to make responsible, independent decisions when they are online?
  3. Professional and Personal Boundaries: Should I “friend” students on Facebook? How can I use Facebook groups to limit the things I share with students or others who I have friended? What kinds of “social media guidelines” are important for me and others in our school community to follow as we use social media tools with mobile phones as well as computers?
  4. Screens Everywhere: What kinds of guidelines make sense for home Internet use, now that many people access the Internet on mobile devices like cell phones, iPods, and handheld game players? What free Internet filtering solutions for home Internet networks are available? What kinds of limits or boundaries are parents using to address safety, health, and media overexposure concerns for kids?
  5. Friending Your Child: Should I “friend” my son or daughter on Facebook? What should I do if they don’t want me to “friend” them? How can I be a responsible parent and help my child live within behavior boundaries, but not invite rebellion or online behaviors my child keeps secret from me?

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of having me present sessions on Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship for your students and/or parent and teacher groups, please visit my “speaking” page and contact Karen Montgomery. With E-Rate requiring schools to address Internet safety issues with students, I’ve been receiving more requests from schools about presentations on these topics so I thought I’d share this information. My “Video for PD” page includes numerous video examples focused on “Cyberbullying Prevention, Internet Safety, and Safe Online Social Networking.” I’ll continue to update and add to that list in upcoming months.

I haven’t updated resources on my PBworks wiki page, “Proactive Approaches to Address Cyberbullying and Digital Social Networking” in awhile, since I’ve moved to a Google Site for my presentation/workshop resources. Many of the resources listed there are still relevant and good to use when speaking with others about these topics, however. The same goes for my older wiki resource page, “Internet Safety and Social Networking for Parents.”

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