On Monday I began the first of three meetings that I'll be having with the 6th graders on the topic of cybersafety. We met in Mellowes, which is an excellent space for large group meetings like this. During our talk we talked about the following points:
1. The importance of not revealing personal information in online forums...personal information includes things like (but is not limited to) age, sex, location, address, phone number, school, names of family members, etc...we discussed the importance of leaving profile sections blank when creating an account with any online communication service.
2. Choosing goog screen names and passwords...screen names shouldn't identify a student's A/S/L or other identifying features. The password should be a random set of letters, numbers and characters and should never be shared with anyone. Sharing a password with someone is NOT a sign of friendship.
3. We discussed the importance having a full understanding of communication software prior to actively using an account. Students and parents must know how to fully control the experience to minimize risk.
4. Homework assignment for 6th graders-complete the parent-student internet safety pledge.
5. Finally, we discussed the 6th grade outreach/community awareness activity...6th graders will be designing bumper stickers to highlight this topic in the community. The 1-2 most effective bumpers from each grade level will be printed as bumper stickers and passed out at the January Internet safety presentation.
Students and advisors will do a short bingo game review at some point over the next month in advising. Our next meeting isn't until January, so hopefully this will provide some kind of bridge between our sessions.
Next up for the cybersafety talks...meetings with the 7th graders in November and December.