Friday, July 27, 2007

TEACHBoston Program Promotes Internet Safety

16 high school students from the Boston Public Schools who are attending the TEACHBoston program have been trained in internet safety and are preparing to educate elementary school students on how to stay safe online.

The TEACHBoston Program is designed for rising BPS high school students who have an interest in exploring early childhood and elementary education. Students who are accepted to the summer academy are assigned as teaching assistants and mentors to summer school classes in the city of Boston. They also take classes and earn credit from Wheelock College. As part of their completion of the program, the students are required to create and deliver a lesson plan to their students. Wanda Speede, the director of the TEACHBoston program, felt that internet safety would be a great subject for them to teach to younger students. The TEACHBoston students completed a two day internet safety training and began working on their presentations to the students. Wanda Speede was impressed with the effort of her students and said, "The TeachBoston scholars could relate to the information they received about internet safety, and were enthusiastic about sharing this information in creative ways with the summer school students at the Trotter elementary school."

Students were placed into groups of four and given an internet safety topic to educate their students about. While all the groups did have to put together a PowerPoint presentation on their topic, they also got to be creative with their activities. One group was planning and rehearsing a cyberbullying skit, making their PowerPoint presentation look and sound exactly like and instant messaging exchange between students. They plan on showing students what to do if they encounter a cyber bully online. Another group was planning using a rap to teach the students about the importance of keeping their personal information online private and creating good passwords. They planned to have all the students rapping along with them.

Ms. Speede was pleased with how all of this related to the goals of the TEACHBoston program. "The 2007 TEACHBoston scholars were able to integrate the development and implementation of Internet Safety lesson plans into their exploration of the teaching profession. They offered students in summer school classes from grades 3 through 6, information, examples, and hands on activities as part of this exploration."

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