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Published: Saturday, 4/12/2014 - Updated: 6 months ago

'Netiquette' and digital citizenship to be taught in Sylvania Schools' class

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Mellisa McDonald, Northview assistant principal, left, and Amanda Ogren, McCord Junior High assistant principal, talk to the Sylvania Schools Parent Organization on Internet and Social Media Safety. Mellisa McDonald, Northview assistant principal, left, and Amanda Ogren, McCord Junior High assistant principal, talk to the Sylvania Schools Parent Organization on Internet and Social Media Safety.
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Summer days call for road trips, outdoor play, and, for many children nowadays, more time on the Internet.

The Sylvania School District is preparing parents for their children’s increased social media and online time by hosting a day of Internet and online safety education. Sylvania Parents Digital Citizenship Training is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. on May 29 at Northview High School Performing Arts Center, 5403 Silica Dr.

The event is a preview to a new school subject being taught next year: Digital citizenship.

At the Sylvania Schools Parent Organization meeting on Friday, Amanda Ogren, McCord Junior High School assistant principal, and Mellisa McDonald, Northview assistant principal, spoke to parents about the new class that will be kicked off in August with its own day, Sylvania Schools Digital Day. The date has yet to be determined. 

The two, co-chairs of the Digital Citizenship Committee, gave an outline of the program which aims to teach children about “what it means to be a good digital citizen” and how to properly use social media on the school’s Chromebooks. The subject will be taught in workshops and reiterated through communicative banners and other informational material.

“We are even teaching the youngsters how to respect devices. If we start little, it will become part of our culture,” Mrs. Ogren said.

Throughout next the school year, children will be taught when to go online, how to go online, how to be safe searchers, and how their online life can follow them beyond their school years.

Shannon Szyperski, left, and Kate Fineske attend the parent organization's digital media presentation. Shannon Szyperski, left, and Kate Fineske attend the parent organization's digital media presentation.
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Children will also be alerted to “digital stranger danger.”

“It applies to online also, especially our high schoolers,” the women said about the term that is normally associated with a physical incident with a stranger.

Part of the new curriculum is teaching the online rules for proper behavior, or, as they called it, "netiquette." Workshops will address how a student should treat others online and how others treat him or her.

A digital education path will be set differently for those in grades 6 to 12, compared to the younger pupils.

The district is also designing a Web site that will be updated with information on the latest social media applications. It will provide parents information about how a site is used, for good and bad intentions, as well has how to establish privacy settings, and other pertinent information.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or ntrusso@theblade.com, or on Twitter @natalietrusso. 



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