Township learns about Digital Citizenship

Learning how to be safe and appropriate on the internet

“Don’t hide who you really are on your social media, just share who you are appropriately with your audience,” vice-principle Matt Clodfelter said.

Last night, Chapel Hill 7th and 8th Grade Center hosted the first Digital Citizenship Night where many guest speakers explained what our township is doing to teach students how to be save and how to act appropriately on the internet. The speakers included teachers from elementary, middle, and high schools, principals and vice-principals and a detective.

Our township is embracing that our students need technology to work and collaborate with each other. But teaching them right from wrong at a young age has been strongly enforced. Chapel Wood Elementary principal, Heather Pierce, teaches her younger students by using props. She makes sure that her students take responsibility for the things that they post online.

Clodfelter, who is in charge of the Ben Davis twitter account, also makes sure that his students are careful of what they are posting online. High school students who are busy filling out college applications forget that those same colleges are checking up on what they are posting. If he sees some  students posting something inappropriate, he makes sure to stop and talk with them before they lose any opportunities.

“If a teacher is texting in class then the students will think it’s alright to text,” Lynhurst 7th and 8th Grade Center teacher John Kline said.

Kline explained that teachers should also model when it is an appropriate time to be on social media sites or play games. Adults are also addicted to their phones, but if they want their students to know when it is the right and wrong time to use it, they have to show it. He also tries to teach his students that starting fights on the internet will not solve anything. He tells his students that what they really want to say is probably what they should not say and once it is on the internet it is never getting off.

“If Facebook was a country, it would be the third largest country in the world,” detective Kevin Getz said.

Detective Getz  is involved with Internet Crimes Against Children. His job deals with child pornography and cyber bullying. He explained to parents that many kids are getting off of Facebook because their parents are on it and are switching into other social media sites like Instagram. He advised the parents to not let their kids have virtual friends, pay attention to what their kids are doing online and be active with their kids. Online predators trap kids with attention, affection and gifts. If a parent is lacking in giving their kids attention, they will find it on the internet.

The internet has made this world smaller and students should be very careful. You can meet someone that claims to be a 13-year-old girl but in reality they are a 30-year-old man. Students should also think twice about what they post because colleges are looking and you can miss an incredible opportunity. The internet is a wonderful invention but we should always remember to be safe and appropriate.