Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative is a great program!

Protecting children from predators is one of my top priorities. Predators today typically use the Internet to befriend, seduce, and ultimately harm children. Putting these criminals behind bars is not enough; we must also proactively combat the problem by educating children and adults. The Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative (Michigan CSI) is an Internet safety education program with customized presentations for kindergarten through eighth-grade students and a community seminar. They have invited all public school district superintendents, intermediate school district superintendents, Michigan Dioceses, Homeschooling Michigan members, Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools members, and Michigan Association of Public School Academies members to participate in the Michigan CSI program during the 2008-2009 school year. Registrations are now being accepted. Encourage your school to become a leader in cyber safety education and to submit a Michigan CSI registration form as soon as possible. We had them into are school and it was a very good presentation by them for the children of are school.

The Michigan Cyber Safety website


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Spoons ED 205 said...

Wow Fred, this is a wonderful program that is being put out there by the state of Michigan. Exploring the “world wide web” can be difficult in itself, let alone have people deliberately trying to cause harm to our youth who are really clueless about the internet and the way it works. I really love the fact that this program is not only geared toward students, but it is also aimed at the parents as well. Most students learn how to navigate the net all by themselves, and this would be done, for example, by trail and error. Now, of course while doing the trail and error process a child may stumble on a couple of sites they should have never seen. I have always felt that it’s not only the schools responsibility to educate the children about the internet, but it should be more of a collaboration between the two (parents and schools). In general, most schools are going to be teaching students how to use a specific program or how to use some sort of software. It’s the parents’ duty to teach their child how to respect the internet and use it appropriately when going online during their spare time. With this program including the parents, I think it will really bridge the technology between parents and their children and the parents will be able to do a better job monitoring what’s really going on. If parents only knew what was going on with the internet and what dangers it could potentially pose, then parents would have already be educated. I’m currently in an online course called “Computers in Education” and this topic is one we happen to discuss. We are also discussing social networking and the benefits (if they are any) of using them in the classroom. I personally don’t see a reason for using a myspace or facebook within the class. The only thing I could really see if instructors using facebook to meet others around the world. This of course would have to be something used for a project and closely monitored while in class. What are your thoughts on this? Well I just wanted to check out this and see what was being said. Take care!
Spoons ED 205

Fred Sharpsteen said...

Spoons ED 205
At my last class on Educational Technology Issues, we had some good discussion on the Opportunities and Challenges of having class facebook pages and/or myspace. Some of the teachers was strongly opposed, as they thought that contact out side the classroom by teachers should be discouraged. I think a lot of this thought process comes from this day and age where we have seen a rash of inappropriate contact by staff with students. They also thought that maybe it would be ok for college level course work. So this tells me it is more about the fear of the impression of outside contact. If Michael B. Horn and Christen Clayton are correct with the online learning, then educators will have more involved with the social networking to keep in touch with students. My personal opinion is that MySpace is a little more like the wild west yet and needs a little taming before I could see it becoming a main stream educational tool. Face book seem much tamer and may be a tool that could be used for this type of correspondents. A tool that I also think could be used for collaboration is Ning it is simlar to MySpace but has a more professional feel and a little less like MTV. Thanks for writing and giving me some feedback. It is very helpful, I am going to write the students from my last class to see if they will let me post some of there podcast that they did for projects in the class. They all did a great job and their is one or two on Cell Phone use in school, Cyber bulling, and on Myspace/Facebook. So watch the top of the this blog site for them to be added.

Fred Sharpsteen

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I am the Director of Technology at a K-12 School system.