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Westminster promotes Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety!

Staff and students from grades 4-8 were presented with an extraordinary learning opportunity to extend their learning about Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety.
Westminster hosted several age appropriate presentations by Paul Davis from Social Networking Safety, an internationally renowned "TED" talks expert on the topic. Student's learned about accountability and responsibility related to their digital trails including safe use of devices, social media, gaming and cyber-bullying.

Reflections from a student that attended:
"On December 3rd, 2015, Paul Davis came to our school to speak to us about internet safety.  He showed us how to safely be on the internet, and to make sure we're using it properly.  In my opinion, having Paul come in as a guest speaker was absolutely a great idea.  At first, I know there were definitely some students that were having doubts, and thought it wasn't very useful, but I can guarantee that by the end of the presentation, he had opened all of our eyes about the dangers of the internet.  Paul Davis spoke to all of us in a very effective way, and I feel that everyone of us took something out of his presentation." E.K.

Parents came out to attend the evening presentation to empower themselves to help their children as they navigate these now common tools of the 21st century learner.  A special THANK YOU to Westminster's school council for supporting this event!

Some main points to consider:

- it is illegal for children under 13 to have a Facebook or Instagram account
- Instagram pictures do not really disappear
- once posted it is impossible to remove any picture from the internet
- each picture has a date and location stamp that predators can access
- you must only befriend people you actually know
- four digit passwords can be easily hacked. Make them 7 or 8. Finger print and swipe codes can also be easily hacked
- assume that your phone will be lost or stolen at least once. Do not store private information to avoid identify theft.
- the highest rate of cyber-bullying occur on the social media and violent online games. Children should NOT be on them.
- Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty are rated the most damaging.  They desensitize children to violence and celebrate murder. They have ratings of 17 years and over.  Nine children at the presentation at our school admitted to playing them. They are 10 years old.  Their parents bought these games for them.
- digital products such as smartphone,  ipad, computers etc. should not be in your child's bedroom.  Most cyber-bullying happens in the evening when they are alone.
- cover your laptop camera with a band-aid to avoid hackers seeing into your home

Parents must know which Apps, games and sites their child is visiting and downloading. Discuss them with your child.
-parents are legally responsible for their children's online activities

At school we teach digital citizenship and responsible Internet usage. This must be reinforced at home to ensure safe usage.

Be safe.  Have a great weekend!


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