Thursday, October 29, 2009

BPS Internet Safety Campaign Presents at MassCue Conference

On Wednesday, October 28, Eric Esteves and Joe Kidd presented a session about the BPS Cyber Safety Campaign at the Massachusetts Computer Using Educators Conference. The Conference took place at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro and drew teachers, principals and tech directors from districts all across the state. During the session Eric and Joe shared information with other educators on what the Boston Public Schools is doing to educate the community about internet safety. They spoke about how the campaign was started, how TST's in the system became iSAFE certified and were asked to do internet safety activities in their schools. They also spoke about the very important partnerships that have been created between the BPS and other outside agencies over the past few years. These partnerships include Microsoft, Bunker Hill Community College, the Boston Police Department, the Boston District Attorney's Office, the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office and the Mayor's Office. It would be impossible to put on this campaign without their help and support. Joe shared what the Office of Instructional and Information Technology's outreach to schools has been during the campaign. He gave a sample of the different types of presentations and workshops OIIT has done for elementary, middle and high schools as well as community centers and parent groups.

A lot of the educators in the session were already performing internet safety related activities within their schools, but wanted to know how they could take it further, especially with high school age students. Eric did a great job sharing with the group how he engages BPS high school students through the Cyber Safety Mentor Program. He also explained how the summer intern program draws on students' creative design talents and presentation skills. All of the student interns receive internet safety and presentation skills training. They then develop internet safety lessons that they bring out to educate the community. Last summer, they gave over 90 cyber safety presentations to over 5,000 children! The students also created new cyber safety materials that are available for download from the BPS cyber safety website. During the presentation at MassCue, Eric shared those materials with the teachers who were in attendance. They left the session with posters, buttons, bookmarks and the BPS cyber safety comic book. Below is a presentation of the materials that were shared with the participants during the MassCue conference.

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