Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Internet Safety Night

Tonight is Manor Hill’s first ever internet safety night. I am really excited about this event, I think it is going to go really well. My only concern is how many people are going to show up. I know that other schools have had similar events and have had really low turnout. I think this is an incredibly important topic, one that a lot of parents are not aware of. If you were on the fence about coming, even if you have smaller kids, I would definitely encourage you to come. First let me say that there is going to be free babysitting for school age kids available. Second, we are going to be giving away a door prize to someone that comes tonight. Office Depot donated an MP3 player for us to give away. Finally, I am doing the first 45 minutes of the presentation and I frankly, scared myself with some of the information that I found. I like ot think of myself as a technologically savvy guy. I use technology extensively in my class and at home. My wife and I actually set up a wiki page so that we could keep track of shopping lists, recipes, etc. I was absolutely amazed at some of the things I learned while researching this presentation. I read three different books and looked at a bunch of different articles and web sites and every one of them presented something new. I am anticipating many gasps tonight when parents see what I have in the presentation. I have some acronyms that kids are using for text messaging that will blow some people away. I surveyed the entire 5th grade at Manor Hill about internet safety and the statistics are startling! Next, I have a mini presentation called “The Orange Penguin” that shows one scenario of what could happen online. Finally, I end the presentation with a list of hints for parents to help keep their kids safe. Many of them are common sense things but I am hoping that after the first part of the presentation they will really sink in. I told my class yesterday that don’t be surprised if their parents come home tomorrow night and want to talk.

The presentation tonight will end with Mrs. Green, our school librarian giving a talk about all of the really cool things that can be done online. She is going to show how to access some of the library resources, pay lunch accounts online and hopefully end the evening on a really positive note. If time permits, I also want to show a short (5 minute) video called “Shift Happens”. There are two versions of this video and I like the original better than the updated one. They both have basically the same information in them. It is basically statistics put to music but they are amazing, especially when you put them into the context of what our kids are up against in a global society. I don’t have a link to put below but if you search on youtube for shift happens, you will find it. Also, check out the link below to the Internet Safety Night web page I have set up that has the handouts and presentations that I will be using tonight.

Internet Safety Night Web Site

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