Education

Mahopac Schools Teach Importance of Online Safety

d8de56f79a5dcde63eb4_56081_.jpg
All three Mahopac elementary schools participated in Digital Citizenship Week last week. Here, students from Lakeview learn about internet safety. Credits: Courtesy of Mahopac Central School District
d8de56f79a5dcde63eb4_56081_.jpg

MAHOPAC, N.Y.— As students of all ages increase their use of social media, the internet and technology in general, online safety has become more crucial. To address the issue, all three Mahopac elementary schools participated in Digital Citizenship Week, where each school held lessons on internet safety for every student.

Digital Citizenship Week is sponsored by Commonsensemedia.org, a nonprofit dedicated to helping children get the most out of technology in the safest possible environment.

“It is really important that students know how to behave when they’re online,” said John Sebalos, Mahopac School District’s instructional technology specialist.

Sign Up for E-News

Sebalos hosted a Digital Citizenship Day at Lakeview, Austin Road and Fulmar Road elementary schools, along with each school’s building technology officers and staff.

“Each student, from kindergarten through fifth grade, got an age-appropriate lesson on safe, appropriate internet use,” Sebalos said.  “With Mahopac’s innovative and expansive use of technology within the K-5 classrooms, digital citizenship becomes increasingly important.  It sets a model of how we want our students to behave and interact online both in and out of school while being able to collaborate and work in a 21st century learning environment.”

For younger students, talking about privacy online is particularly important.

“Sharing things like your name, address, school or other personal information is never OK,” Sebalos told the students.

“Through humor and interactive activities, our students were able to grasp the basic concepts of how to behave responsibly online,” said Austin Road teacher and safety presenter Tiffany Ziegelhofer, who was impressed by students’ reception of the day. “They were really attentive and motivated to learn.”

For the older students, the lesson was focused more on appropriate behavior online and avoiding cyberbullying.

Addressing a group of fifth graders at Fulmar Road, Sebalos showed a film about internet safety and then gave out game cards with prompts that asked students what they would do in certain scenarios.

“I wanted them to work as a group,” Sebalos said, “so they could really discuss the options.”

Students were asked to consider what they would do if a person they did not know asked for personal information online; how to handle a fellow student making a rude comment about a teacher on a social media site; and what type of information is private versus public.

“The students did really well with their responses in class, but the real test will be how they respond when there is no teacher or friend around,” said Gary Chadwick, Fulmar Road principal, who also led a class on internet safety.

Fifth-grader Gabby said she thought people should use discretion when they are using social media.

“There are some things we shouldn’t say online because they just aren’t nice,” she said.

Fifth-grader Jayson said, “You can’t give out personal information online because you can’t trust someone you don’t know.”

Lakeview teacher Jenn Borst said she thought the day gave students a real understanding of what is expected of them and what is safe.

“It was great hearing the children talk about their digital footprint,” she said. “They walked away with a real understanding of private information versus personal information.”

Article provided by Mahopac Central School District

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Mahopac

Turn On the Light and Watch the Roaches Flee

When I lived in Los Angeles, I was a senior editor for a magazine called Pool & Spa News. It was the leading trade magazine in North America for the swimming pool and hot tub industry. It was a fun and fascinating job—and I learned a lot.

One of the many things I learned was about how pools are sanitized. (There are more ways than you think.) As most know, chlorine is the first line ...

Cigarettes, Drugs and Border Patrol

This is from the website Rare: “Seattle has decided to impose a 1.75 cent per ounce tax on all sugary beverages within the city with the hopes of raising a $15 million revenue stream that it will use for programs to help people ‘have better access to fresh fruits and vegetables,’ as Seattle station KIRO 7 explains. The price of Gatorade Frost Variety Pack at Costco, usually ...

Who Really Killed Eric Garner?*

Last week, Erica Garner died.* She was the daughter of Eric Garner, who died while resisting arrest for selling individual cigarettes, otherwise known as “loosies.”* Most news stories about her death begin this way: “Erica Garner, daughter of Eric Garner, who died from a police choke-hold screaming ‘I can’t breath...’ ”* This event lead Erica to become an ...

A Loudmouth Remains Conspicuously Silent

I’ve been side by side with Andy Bazzo on this page for more than three years now and, other than a minor skirmish back in 2015, we’ve tolerated each other’s political views and avoided personal criticism. However, recently, several readers of my column have questioned why I haven’t confronted Bazzo’s rhetoric more fervently, especially when his bombast is so filled ...

Breakfast with Rocco

I went into a neighborhood eatery the other day to grab some breakfast with one of my politically aware buddies, Rocco. It was crowded and we happened to sit right next to a couple of young tradesmen—a carpenter and an electrician—who were talking politics and worrying out loud about the new Republican tax bill; was it going to help or hurt them? As we waited for the waitress to take ...

Talkin' 'Bout Our Generations

People try to put us d-down (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

Just because we get around (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

I hope I die before I get old (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

—Peter Townshend (The Who)

I’ve become obsessed of late with generations. Well, what ...

A Post-Apocalyptic House Cleaning

I’m usually pretty good about keeping track of what’s in my fridge. But over the course of a few weeks, the food containers seem to multiply and take over. By the time I get around to realizing that some items have been in there too long, the contents of the containers way in the back of the refrigerator either look like a science experiment gone awry or a refrigerated toupee.

This ...

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Grudge

Contrary to what I generally tell people, the happiest moment of my life was not the day I got married, nor the final push when I gave birth to either of my two kids. It was the day a driver tailgated me relentlessly for five miles and then sped away… until he got pulled over by a state trooper.

Although I know it is better to forgive and forget, I am just not one of those people who is ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_e78291c739644b28bebd_blood_drive_flyer-page-001

Sat, January 27, 9:00 AM

Somers High School, Somers

Health Fair

Health & Wellness

Wed, January 31, 6:00 PM

Putnam County Department of Health, Brewster

Freedom from Smoking

Health & Wellness

Wed, February 7, 6:00 PM

Putnam County Department of Health, Brewster

Freedom from Smoking

Health & Wellness

Reminiscing About the Old Times

January 11, 2018

To the editor,

Regarding the closing of Healy’s Corner Bar, before it was Healy’s, it was Happy Valley. Actually, the whole county was a “Happy Valley” in those times (if maybe a little ingrown, prejudicial enclave, but there was community). I went to a wedding reception there in the Fifties.

The Hide-a-Way, a nice restaurant/bar on Baldwin Place Road, just north of ...